Author Interview @ The Scribbling Sprite

Hullo, everyone! Just a quick post to let you know that I did an author interview with Ally at The Scribbling Sprite! The post went up yesterday, and I was so excited! You should definitely go check it out, and take a peek at some of her other posts, too. You can also check out her sweet review of Paralyzed Dreams while you’re at it! 😀 Have a great day, everyone!

Giveaway Winner And A Few Other Things

Hullo, everyone! In case you missed it, yesterday was my blogiversary!!! *throws confetti and sprinkles* As you may have noticed, I hosted a little giveaway for a PDF copy of my novella, Paralyzed Dreams. And I am here to announce the winner.

But before that, let me tell you how I decided the winner. Because suspense and stalling, of course.

I wrote all the contestants’ names down on slips of paper and then put them into my wonderful Avengers cup.

avengerscup

This is clearly an animation or drawing, not a real cup, but hey, it’s the same as mine. And it’s all I could find.

Then I shook it up…

A lot…

Okay, fine. The winner is…

Claire B.

*throws confetti, glitter, and sprinkles towards Claire* Yay!!! I hope you’ll enjoy!

Now for the “other things” mentioned in the title.

1. THE DEADLINE IS COMING UP FOR THE JUNE CONTEST! Hurry and get your entries in!

2. My friend Daisy over at The Bookish Flower is hosting a contest, too! Hers ends on the eighth, so you’ve got a little more time than for mine. So go check it out!

3. I don’t believe I’ve mentioned it before, but I got a Goodreads account! Go ahead and follow me, friend me, and add my book to your shelves. 😉

And that is all for today, friends! *bows* Until next time!

Tales From The Writer’s Desk: Blogiversary Bash

Warning: Craziness follows. For more information about characters, click the links provided. 😉 Enjoy!!!

“So… why are we here?” Slade asks. He leans back in the chair, arms behind his head.

I gape at him. “What?”

“Why was I dragged here?” Slade says, raising an eyebrow.

“We didn’t drag you here,” Wilson says, plopping down in another chair nearby. “We said, ‘Come on, there’s going to be cake,’ and you came.”

“And I haven’t seen any cake.” Slade leaned forward. “You didn’t lie to me, did you?”

Iris leans against my desk. “Bri said there would be cake,” she says. All eyes turn to me.

“Um.” This is a tough position. “I think all of you might have misunderstood. While there will most likely be birthday cake, as long as Adelyn doesn’t make… er, attempt to make… it, I-I wasn’t talking about cake the food. I was talking about Cake the person.”

Silence. “You–” Ellis stutters. “There’s a person named Cake?”

“Blame Adelyn,” I grumble. “She’s the one who gave him the nickname when he wouldn’t tell her his name.”

“I’m more concerned about the apparent lack of food cake,” Slade says, looking very upset.

Haven stands up. “I can take care of that.”

I give her a grateful smile and she ducks her head shyly before turning to leave the room. Benedict comes in, and I point towards a seat. “Sit,” I command. “You don’t need to work. This is a party. Everyone can show themselves in here.”

He sits down reluctantly, and Iris leans forward, eyes sparkling. “So, this Cake guy. Does he have a real name?”

I make a face. “He says he does, but he won’t tell me, so sometimes I wonder.”

The door opens and Adelyn walks in, followed by Cake, Jet, and Chase, her story companions. “I can’t believe you’ve been around for a whole year,” Adelyn says, giving me a present.

“Uh, it’s not my birthday,” I say, face turning red.

“Yeah, but it’s the blog’s, and it’s pretty much the same thing,” Adelyn insists. “Besides, I burned the cake.” She looks around the room at everyone. “Well, this is our first time here. I can’t believe it! It’s so cool. I meant to talk to you about an interview, Bri,” she hints.

I clear my throat, but I’m interrupted as the door opens again. “I’m pretty sure I’ve got the next turn,” Chloe says, walking in. Her cane taps slowly against the floor, and Benedict helps her find a chair. Melissa rolls in after her, parking her wheelchair next to Chloe’s chair. There’s a slight tap at the door as it starts to close and then Pam rolls in.

“Yay for the only one whose story is actually finished and published,” Slade grumbles, giving me a pointed look.

Pam’s cheeks redden. “Are you almost finished typing up our post-book interview?” she asks me.

Now my face is hot. “Um. Getting close, yes.” I stand up quickly. “Since we’re obviously limited on space, you all are the only ones I’ve invited.”

“Yay, no Marba!” Ellis says, grinning.

“I don’t have a villain,” Pam says, frowning.

“Same.” Chloe shifts in her chair. “Or do you just mean that you didn’t invite my mom? She’s not exactly a villain.”

“Um.” Abstract villains? “Technically your conflicts are internal. But that doesn’t matter now, why don’t we just enjoy ourselves?”

Haven walks in carrying a cake, and Slade leaps up to hold the door for her. I’m not sure if it’s because of the cake or Haven. I hide a smile. “How did you even make it that fast?” Iris says, eyes wide.

Haven smiles and sends me a wink. “I came prepared.” She’s always thinking ahead, of course, and she probably decided to bring a cake, just in case.

We set the cake down in the middle of my desk, which is cleaned off for once. Everyone gathers around, and Benedict and I blow out the candles. I roll my eyes at him, but he just smiles.

Slade reaches for the cake. “This is mine, okay? You guys can find your own…”

I smack his hands away and pick up the knife. “Who wants a slice?”

Here’s to a full year of writerly blogging! And free cake for all you wonderful followers! Oh… and a giveaway! Comment below and you’ll be entered for a chance to win a PDF copy of Paralyzed Dreams!

Make sure to use a valid email address when commenting, as this is how I’ll send the book.

A Special Day…

Hi, everyone! Guess what today is? Never mind… It’s my mom’s birthday! ❤

You may or may not know that I dedicated Paralyzed Dreams to my mom. I also stole her name for the book. 😛 In honor of her birthday, I decided it was a good time to tell how I came up with the idea for the book. So, I present to you the Story Behind The Story.


 

When I first decided to write a story for my mom for her birthday, I already had a bit of experience under my belt. I had started (without finishing) a ton of stories, and I had just finished my very first nearly-book-length story. I was thrilled, and I couldn’t wait to get started on my next story.

Then I had an idea. I had written the first story for a friend for her birthday. Why not write a story for my faithful editor (aka my mom) for Christmas? So, pencil and notebook in hand, I set off to write a story for my mom.

Several problems arose immediately. I knew that I wanted to have the main character named after my mom, but I also knew that I couldn’t really write from an adult’s perspective. I also had no idea for a plot, or a theme, or even any other major parts in the story.

Somehow I thought of volleyball. My mom had played volleyball when she was younger – in fact, that’s how she and my dad met. So why not write a story centered around volleyball? Somewhere along the line I had the idea to show how we can have faith through the hard times, even when it feels like everything is crashing down. And, voila, the plot for Paralyzed Dreams was born.

Of course, I had to do research on volleyball, since I knew absolutely nothing about it. Google is amazing. I also had to look up things about wheelchair accessible vans. The church and youth group I based off of my own, and the trip to the nursing home was based off of a trip I took with my youth group. And yes, we did play chair volleyball. Jeremy was based off of a certain person that you might know… but you’ll have to check out the other posts to find out about that.

As always, there were struggles during writing. There always are, and there will never cease to be. But with a little perseverance, I finished the story with plenty of time left for my dad to edit it before Christmas. With his help, I got the story edited and ready, and on December 25, we had a bound copy from Office Max waiting for my mom under the tree. I was so proud to have written a story for her.

And I’m so proud to be able to share this story with you, too! If you’ve read it, thanks so much! I’d love to hear what you think of it, and what it has taught you. If you haven’t read it, go ahead and check it out!


 

Happy birthday, Mommy! I hope everyone has enjoyed this… and check out the book! Buying copies is a great way to wish my mom a happy birthday… 😉

Writing, Marketing, And Other Wonderful Things

I mentioned in when I did the 777 Writing Challenge that I would tell you more about my work-in-editing soon. And I believe this is a wonderful time to do that.

But, first, some updates on Paralyzed Dreams!

I want to thank everyone who has reviewed the book! Every review helps, and the more reviews, the more the word gets out. All of you are amazing! 😀 If you’ve written a review in one place (Goodreads, Amazon, your blog, etc.), it’s super easy to put it on other sites, too! Special thanks to everyone who has done that, too. (That means you, writefury and Kathy @ Kathy’s Cottage Books!) If you haven’t reviewed, it only takes a minute to write down a few thoughts, and a couple more to be detailed. Even just rating on Amazon or Goodreads helps. 🙂

And Paralyzed Dreams is now listed on the Homeschooled Authors blog. Go check it out, along with the other homeschooled authors!

If you haven’t already, tell your friends about the book, too. And if you’re interested in an author interview, let me know! I’d definitely be interested.

Oh, and if you have an Instagram, Pintrest, or other social media account… Here are some quotes from the book you can share!

jeremyquote2 copy

jeremyquote3

JeremyQuote1

Now that we’ve got that over with, let’s get on to even more fun stuff.

I finished the first book in my new series! It’s in the editing stage now (which I’m procrastinating, of course). I may have mentioned it before, but now it’s time to officially announce the title of the series. Now. Right here.

Drumroll, please.

WISHEQuintet1

The world of Lerali is at the brink of war, and its fate rests in the hands of five teenagers, the group called WISHE. Their task? To find a long-lost portal before it’s too late.

Sound interesting? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

If you’re interested in helping to promote my books and join my street team* (Got any cool street team name ideas? Share!), head on over to my contact page. I’d love to hear from you!

And don’t forget that the Super-Duper Fan Fiction Crossover Challenge (the Second) is open for submissions! The deadline is May 1st, which may seem far away, but it’s not… so get started now! (Tell me that it’s not far away the next time I’m moaning about Avengers: Age of Ultron…) I can’t wait to see you guys’ stories! Need ideas? Check here.

I believe that’s all, folks! Got any questions? Got ideas for street names? Like the quotes? Curious to learn more about anything? Comment below! I’d love to hear what you have to say!

*A street team is a group of devoted fans who help promote an authors’ work, through book reviews, social media, and just telling others about the book. In exchange they get exclusive content, bonus fun, and, sometimes, ARCs. Worth it? I’d say so.

Writing About Writing: Cover Design – Part Two

Hi, everyone! This is my official post for the cover design for Paralyzed Dreams. If you missed my last post with cover design tips, go check it out! This post will give you a sort-of template for designing a cover, using the cover for Paralyzed Dreams as an example. I used Photoshop for my cover, so some parts may be different for you. Note: I am not an expert… and this might not work for every book. This is just a basic outline.

1: Find a picture. If you don’t know what picture you’re going to use, make a list of important items in your story. See Cover Design – Part One for more details on this. For Paralyzed Dreams, the main elements were volleyball, the wheelchair, and Pam. After a lot of searching, I decided on the wheelchair and found this picture:

wheelchair5

Look familiar? 😀

2: Next, find out what size your cover needs to be. Amazon KDP recommends that your cover be about 1000 pixels by 1600 pixels. If you’re going to put your cover on other sites, check to see what size they recommend. You may have to make several different covers, and you’ll have to make a separate cover for print books as well.

3: After you’ve figured out what size your cover needs to be, open a file in your cover-making program that is that size. This should be fairly self-explanatory.

4: Extra tip: Don’t mess with your background layer; leave it as is. This applies to all projects. Now that you’ve got your file, place the photo onto it. Move it around until you like how it looks. You can always move it some more later. (If you’re using more than one picture, this is where you would combine them. Maybe I’ll post on that sometime.) After this step, mine looked like this:

paralyzeddreamskindlestep4

5: Add effects so your cover doesn’t look just like a plain old picture. I added a black gradient to the top so my white text would stand out and some swirls just for a nice touch. 😉

Gradient

Gradient

Swirls

Swirls

6: Add your text. To make your cover look more professional, try using different fonts within the title if it’s two or more words. Also, change the size around. Always try to use at least two fonts. I used three: Print Clearly for “paralyzed”, Alex Brush for “Dreams”, and Portmanteau for my name. Try to use a font for your name that you can use on all of your books to create an author brand. That way, everyone can recognize your books and name.

The Final Product:

The Final Product!

I’ll probably do more posts on cover design at some point. There’s so much to cover! (Pun not originally intended…) What do you think of the cover? Like this post? Anything you want to know more about? Tell me your thoughts in the comments!

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! 😀

The Results Are In… And Another One!

super_duper_fan_fiction_crossover_challenge

I’ve finally finished the judging for the Super-Duper Fan Fiction Crossover Challenge! Don’t worry, the next contest will be easier to say. Hopefully.

As I stated in the original post, all of the contestants get a shoutout and a link. So let me introduce you to both all of our contestants!

Erinkenobi2893 submitted an Avengers/Sherlock crossover: Hours of Men and Monsters

Writefury submitted an Avengers/The Lego Movie crossover: The New World (this is part one, part two has not been posted)

Go check both of them out!

I must say that I had a really hard time with this contest. If there had been three contestants, it wouldn’t have been so bad, but… *sigh*

I’ve spent a long time deliberating over this. Both contestants did a wonderful job, and I loved both of their stories! But, unfortunately, there can only be one winner.

Congratulations, Erin! ❤ I’ll re-blog your post ASAP! 😉

It was super close (only one point separated both of them!). I hope both of you – and everyone reading this *points finger at you* – will enter the next one!

Speaking of which…

super_duper_fan_fiction_crossover_challenge_2

That’s right. We’re doing another one.

Have a crossover idea that you didn’t get to? Have a brilliant idea, but not know about the contest? Here’s your chance! Same rules, same scoring. Same amount of fun! Seriously, go ask the contestants how much fun they had. 🙂

In honor of the release of Avengers: Age of Ultron, the deadline is May 1st!!!

I’d love to see more entries this time, and I’ll be posting soon about the prizes! I don’t want to give away too much, since I want to make sure it’ll work out, but the prizes are going to be awesome… 😉

So go start writing! Remember to come back tomorrow for the Paralyzed Dreams virtual book tour – it’s going to be a blast!

Announcing the Paralyzed Dreams Virtual Book Tour!

Hi, everyone! I’m excited to announce that next weekend, on March 7th, we’ll be having a virtual blog tour for Paralyzed Dreams! It’s going to be lots of fun, with some neat posts and book reviews… but I don’t want to spoil too much. Make sure to come on over next weekend and check out all the posts!

ParalyzedDreamsVirtualBookTour4

If I haven’t asked you to join, and you’d like to participate, let me know in the comments! I’d love to have you join in!