Category Archives: Guest Posts

Guest Post Black Dawn Tour

Please welcome Mallory McCartney to my blog. Mallory is the author of YA/NA Fantasy “Black Dawn”. I’ll leave the word to Mallory now, who will talk about editing process.

Guest Post

As all first-time authors, the editing process was a lovely learning curve for me! The Clean Reads team is very supportive throughout the entire process, and I can’t thank them enough for that! When I first submit my manuscript, I made sure it adheres to the submission guidelines (formatting etc.). After this it goes through three rounds with three different editors with the Clean Reads team, so every time it’s a fresh pair of eyes. This is where, with editor you go through line edits, content edits, formatting, grammar etc. This takes a couple of months, and once you complete each stage (on time! 😊 ) you go into the final look through of the book. This is where I call on my beta readers, and make any small final changes with the novel. Once this is done, it is submitted to the final stages of publication.

To me the editing stage is an amazing process, I see my manuscript go through my initial draft rewrites prior to this, which is anywhere from four to six times. To see it become a clean and final draft six- eight months later is an amazing feeling, and wouldn’t be possible without the team at Clean Reads, or my beta readers!!!

 

About the Book

Title: Black Dawn

Genre: YA/NA Fantasy

Author: Mallory McCartney

 

The end of an Empire, the rise of a Queen

Emory Fae enjoys leading a quiet, normal life. That is until two mysterious, and handsome soldiers show up at her apartment, and the life she knew is instantly whisked away. Memphis Carter and Brokk Foster come from the magical and war ridden world of Kiero, and upon Emory’s arrival she will discover she is the long-lost heir to the Royal Line and is thrown into the Black Dawn Rebellion with a dynamic role to ignite the rebels and reclaim her throne.

With both men being darkly woven in her past Emory uncovers hidden secrets, a power held long dormant, and will soon realize there are worse things than supernatural humans, love, loss, betrayal, and a Mad King.

Some things are better left in the shadows

 

 

Author Bio

Mallory McCartney currently lives in London, Ontario with her husband and their two dachshunds Link and Lola. Black Dawn is her debut novel, the first in a series. When she isn’t working on her next novel or reading, she can be found dog grooming, book shopping and hiking. Other favorite pastimes involve reorganizing perpetually overflowing bookshelves and seeking out new coffee and dessert shops.

 

Links

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authormalmccartney/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MalMcCartney

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/authormalmccartney/?hl=en

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Guest Post The Agartes Epilogues

Today’s guest post is brought to you by K.S. Villoso, author of “The Agartes Epilogues”, and talks about the editing process.

Editing a Character-Driven Novel

I write character-driven epic fantasy, which I’m not even sure is a legit sub-genre or anything (although I’m a little ignorant about genres and rely on my friends to correct me all the time). But suffice to say that my stuff revolves around characters: their thoughts, aspirations, challenges, relationships, and how all of these fit into a plot. Sort of like if Game of Thrones actually gave up and realized it’s an Asian soap opera (but with just as many wars and killings), that sort of thing.

The editing process, of course, is similar to others’: in a nutshell, I’ll outline, I’ll create a first draft, then do as many drafts as it takes until I get sick of the whole thing, throw it at my editors, cave in to their suggestions, and then polish it one final time.

But it’s a lot more complicated than that. I don’t, for example, have a very rigid outline. I have several outlines: I may have a summary of the story with regards to character motivations, a plot outline detailing important events, a chapter outline, etc. And then I embark on what I call an organic process of writing, wherein the manuscript dictates everything. I use the outlines as a blueprint, but if the manuscript decides we have to go a different route, I will scrap everything I have up to that point and re-outline again.

I do this because of the “character-driven” part. Because I write very closely from the characters’ point of views (a limited third person POV where the character’s thoughts weave into the narrative), the story can only unfold as they see fit. I have had characters pretty much change their importance or role mid-story; I’ve had characters decide they’re better off dead, and others that they’re better off alive (at least, for a little longer). These can come about because of a number of different things—usually though because of an interaction they have that suddenly tells me there’s a lot more to their story than the outlines would indicate.

When I edit, of course, I already have a finished manuscript. So one of my many tasks is to do a sweep, to make sure that every character is consistent with their motivations and personalities. Since I already “know” where they’re heading towards, I can refine their scenes to better give the reader an idea of what they’re all about. The characters are the driving force in my stories, and everything around them—including the plot—is supposed to paint a picture of what’s really happening deep inside.

 

About the Books

Series Title: The Agartes Epilogues

Author: K.S. Villoso

Genre: Epic Fantasy

Jaeth’s Eye

It has been years since his brother’s accident. Kefier was only just beginning to live a normal life–at least, as normal as it could get for a mercenary from a run-down town. And then an errand goes wrong and he finds himself holding his friend’s bloody corpse. Already once branded a murderer, he is pursued by men he once considered friends and stumbles into the midst of a war between two mages. One bears a name long forgotten in legend; the other is young, arrogant Ylir, who takes special interest in making sure Kefier is not killed by his associates. The apex of their rivalry: a terrible creature with one eye, cast from the womb of a witch, with powers so immense whoever possesses it holds the power to bring the continent to its knees.

Now begins a tale with roots reaching beyond the end of another. Here, a father swears vengeance for his slain children; there, a peasant girl struggles to feed her family. A wayward prince finds his way home and a continent is about to be torn asunder. And Kefier is only beginning to understand how it all began the moment he stood on that cliff and watched his brother fall…

Aina’s Breath

Enosh, apprentice to one of the richest merchants in the Kag, is secretly heir to a broken line of mages. Because of The Empire of Dageis’ quest for sources of the agan–the life-source that mages use for power–his people have been reduced to scavengers, his culture diminished to a speck in the wind. For more than ten years, he has helped raise a conjured beast to use as a weapon against the Dageians. But Enosh’s plans are falling apart. A powerful enemy has escaped and Enosh needs to capture him before he reaches Dageis. His quest is further complicated after he finds himself used as a pawn by Gasparian nobles.

On the other end of the continent, Sume, daughter to a Jin-Sayeng hero, must return to her roots to save her country and bring honour to her father’s name. To do this, she must befriend a prince and understand the terrible, corrupting nature of power and the reason her father was driven to walk away from it all those years ago…

Meanwhile, Kefier, Enosh’s agan-blind brother, is forced back into a life of violence. As he struggles with the notion that hands, once bloodied, never stay clean for long, he finds himself occupied with an unexpected burden: his own brother’s daughter.

Sapphire’s Flight

The battle at Shi-uin has left scars. The rise of Gorrhen yn Garr to power seems unstoppable. As nations fall, the lines between love and duty become blurred and Kefier, Sume, and Enosh must learn to live with the choices they have made.

 

Author Bio

K.S. Villoso was born in a dank hospital on an afternoon in Albay, Philippines, and things have generally been okay since then. After spending most of her childhood in a slum area in Taguig (where she dodged death-defying traffic, ate questionable food, and fell into open-pit sewers more often than one ought to), she and her family immigrated to Vancouver, Canada, where they spent the better part of two decades trying to chase the North American Dream. She is now living amidst the forest and mountains with her family, children, and dogs in Anmore, BC.

 

Links

http://www.ksvilloso.com/

 

Social Media

https://twitter.com/k_villoso

https://www.facebook.com/kayvilloso

 

Goodreads

Jaeth’s Eye

Aina’s Breath

Sapphire’s Flight

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Guest Post Dark Djinn

Guest Post: My Editing Process

From almost every author offering instruction, you hear guidance along the lines of Just write. Forget about the quality until the rewrite or the edit. Your aim is to get words on paper. It is good advice for a beginner, who looks at the blank page and wonders how she is ever going to fill it. It is also advice I follow when I have writer’s block. From what I understand, the value in it is to engage the right and the left side of the brain in the different stages of the writing process, to allow the creative side to dominate in the creation of the work, and the logical side to come to the forefront when you want to refine it. I cannot deny there is sense in this.

For me, however, editing is implicit in the writing process. I agonise over each sentence or paragraph when I first pen it, rewriting and editing it until I am happy at that moment. Only then do I move on to the next. I might pen two or three hundred words at a stretch if I’m in the flow, but my day’s writing time will include going back and editing every sentence. Does it make for slow writing? Unquestionably. Does it make for good writing? I believe so, especially since I have heard other authors whose work I respect state this is their process.

The benefit for me of slow writing, of editing as I go, is the ability to craft a work with a distinct voice. I have found that if I lose the voice in a scene, it takes a disproportionate amount of time to rewrite it well. Voice is tantamount to expression, which is a function of editing, and voice these days seems to be the holy grail of writing. In establishing a voice early on, I can keep referring to early chapters to ensure consistency in later chapters. Added to this is the need for character mood to flow. If character drives plot, then a lack of refinement in this area skews the plot onto a tangent. It may be a deviation of the smallest degree, but getting it all back on track is, for me, hard, time-consuming work. Since I much prefer writing to rewriting, I will spend the time getting it almost right on the first draft.

Almost right means to say that of course I edit further. And again. And once, twice, maybe even three times again. After my second (or third) draft, I will take exquisite notice of every word. I consider myself finished when on reading the manuscript I make a miniscule number of cosmetic changes; when it takes me a whole minute or more to decide if the change does it fact improve the manuscript. There are times when I am tempted to leave a sentence because it reads okay. I must remind myself every time that in today’s market okay is not good enough, and if I wish to be honest, neither is good. The manuscript must be the absolute best I can make it at that time.

About the Book

Title: Dark Djinn

Author: Tia Reed

Genre: Fantasy

Duplicity and deception: aid from a djinn is a curse under any guise.

Betrothed to a cruel lord, Princess Kordahla dreams of fleeing to her decadent neighbour, a journey fraught with danger, and no promise of sanctuary at its end. Her one hope is to offer the southern shah a prize so valuable he cannot refuse to harbour her: the secret of the mahktashaan, the soldier-magicians sworn to protect her father’s court.

But the mahktashaan guard their magic with blooded sword, and in stealing one of their powerful crystals she will risk her life. Unless she accepts the help of a treacherous djinn intent on tricking her into a deal.

It is a compact which threatens to shatter the fragile peace in the Three Realms.

A gripping tale of realms besieged and honour lost, of blood-ties severed and romance dreamed, Dark Djinn begins an epic quest to save mortals from the schemes of djinn.

Author Bio

Tia Reed loves nothing better than burying her nose in a story of her own imagining, cuddling her bossy cat and rescuing chewed pillows from her hyperactive dog. She takes every opportunity to do all three when she is not teaching English as a second language. Her other hobbies usually take a back seat but include trying to tame her beast of a garden, hiking and travelling. The latter has thrown her many interesting, sometimes hair-raising experiences, which she loves twisting into stories. She was born in Malta, but lives in Adelaide, Australia.

Links

Website:   www.tiareed.com

Facebook:     www.facebook.com/SFWriter/

Amazon:  Amazon

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Guest Post Those Who Are Left

thosewholeft

Guest Post

Hello everyone!

I’m Josh Stricklin, which I have no doubt has already been stated somewhere in this post. I’m an author from Mississippi. I have a few books, and now I’ve taken my skills to the Internet. I have been asked to talk to the masses about my editing process. I know different has their very own, super-special way of making it work. Hey, I have done it differently every time.

I have two published books now, and while writing each of them I was in different places in my life. For my newest book, The King of Evil, a lot of the editing I did was the typical run-of-the-mill corrections, along with a lot of last-minute fact checking. The story was about voodoo, and I didn’t know much at all about it before I started writing. I spent a lot of time going back and making sure nothing was wonky with my information—other than the fictionalized parts I took special liberties with obviously.

For Those Who Are Left though, I was working on my first book. I didn’t know how to do it, and I was coming off a very serious injury that I have talked about ad nauseam in blogs and my website (thegreenroses.com).

I didn’t know how to edit. I just read and reread a bunch of times. That, of course, was a fun one to go back through. For a majority of the writing I was on painkillers, and my mind was swimming fairly often.

I sort of flailed around a lot during the editing process, but as for the story, I have found a pretty efficient way to edit.After I finish the initial run through. I take notes for all the major plot points and keep them by me as I go through the story again, checking for anything that my contradict something that comes up later in the book. For the book I’m working on now, that is especially important, because the narrative is told from multiple points of view. I know once I finish, I’ll be making comments about when each character discovers specific information and how a certain event changes each character. Keeping the notes on the story as I go through has been the best way for me to keep the story in order as I go. That’s something I’d suggest to people working on a book. Of course people have something that’ll work better for their individual books. This method has helped me a lot, and because I feel like the story is the most important part, I would tell people to at least give it a shot.

Thanks for reading!

About the Book

Title: Those Who Are Left

Author: Josh Stricklin

Genre: Horror

Thinking back to when everything changed, Derrick can never pinpoint if it was the pickaxe swinging toward his own face that alerted him or if he knew moments earlier when he saw the weapon hurtle toward the barn cat. Either way, he quickly realized that the man he was facing—a farm employee he knew well—was not only no longer a friend, he wasn’t even human any more.

An apocalyptic tale that surprises you with humor when it’s not terrifying you with horror, Those Who Are Left follows Derrick as he and two strangers venture through the major cities of the South in search of family and safety. But not all the human factions can be trusted, and if the trio can’t figure out what’s driving the different groups they could end up with enemies on all sides.

But even in a chaotic world of murderous screamers and posturing humans, there’s always time to play a few games of bowling before the slaughter begins…right?

Author Bio

Josh Stricklin is an American author and musician with degrees in English literature and advertising from the University of Southern Mississippi. His first novel, Those Who Are Left, made its debut in 2015. The terrifying follow up, The King of Evil, is available from Silver Leaf Books. He’s currently hard at work finishing his first series…or more likely reading comic books and wearing a Seahawks jersey.

 

Links

thegreenroses.com

https://www.facebook.com/thegreenroses/

https://twitter.com/ExplosionAction

https://www.instagram.com/explosionaction/

Purchase on Amazon

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Guest Post Happy Friday Life

happyfriday

Guest Post

From the moment my feet hit the floor it was non-stop negativity. Messages from the office, friends with troubles, negative morning news, not to mention the weight of my own life. I was able to brush it off until turning the radio on in the car, only to hear more negativity. Before even leaving my driveway, I slammed the car into park and said out loud; ENOUGH! Why doesn’t anyone gravitate to positive? What can I do?
At that moment I decided to send out a text message and the words just poured out. I have always tried to be the cheerleader for everyone in need of a pick me up. I’d never done any writing and quite honestly I felt as though I had minimal grammar skills. I sent the text to about 15 people in my small circle and much to my surprise I started getting great feedback. The comments and requests motivated me to write another text the following Friday. Ironically I ended the first text with the initials H.F. followed by a sideways smile emoji. 🙂 I didn’t realize it at the time but the logo for Happy Friday started day one. That fateful morning, March 20, 2009, Happy Friday H.F:) began.
I never saw myself as an author, but these words come to me at the craziest of times. I have scraps of tissues, napkins and various other papers that have thoughts that enter my mind at all times. The inspiration that continues to motivate me is the amazing personal feedback that flows from Happy Friday H.F:) followers. When someone you don’t know, tells you that what you wrote that Friday was as if you were writing it just for them; that is powerful. You never know how those words will affect the reader.
I only write H.F:) on Friday. The only way I can explain it is that my connection to this process seems to only flow on Fridays. I have tried to write something other days, but it has always been difficult. It just doesn’t seem to work, so Friday it is. I never intended it, it was just the day of the week on which this all started. By nature we are creatures of habit. We all need something to look forward to. When readers tell me that they really look forward to starting the weekend off with their Happy Friday H.F:) that helps me realize how important “positivity” is in our world today.
After sending texts out for over six years I decided to develop a book concept that would be able to reach out to help more people. My passion stems from the ability to motivate others during life’s struggles

About the Book

Title: Happy Friday Life

Author: Karen L.K. Picard

Genre: Poetic Inspiration

What is the greatest gift of all? HAPPINESS! In March 2009 a weekly heartfelt text message called Happy Friday H.F:) was created. Happy Friday Life features 52 poetic inspirations, full of colorful imagery. Something for everyone. these inspirations were initially Intended as a reminder to family and friends that life is only as good as you make it. Staying positive in a world filled with chaos, is your only option. more importantly, a reminder that you matter.
From my heart, embellished thoughts and everlasting pen. May your heart find an attachment, allowing you to feel emotion, satisfying you with aspirations’ of hope, desire joy, comfort, and reflection that fulfills you from within. lf you find even one poetic inspiration that brightens your day, my purpose is fulfilled. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, as is the same with art, where your imagination takes you so does the reflection within you. . I hope you find your “Happy.”

 

Author Bio

Karen L.K. Picard is the creator and author of Happy Friday Life :). Since 2009 she has written over 300 thought provoking, poetic inspirations. These inspirations were initially intended for her children, family and close friends to help guide their daily lives past constant negativity that surrounds our world today. Her insights into the human spirit through her poetic inspirations have expanded to the masses throughout the past seven years thanks to social media. Today, Happy Friday Life 🙂 inspirations can be delivered directly to your email inbox or cell phone via text message.

Born and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Karen received a crash course in cultural diversity and human behavior. These experiences have guided her passion for sharing with the world “We all matter” and we all have the choice to be better. She decided to move from Milwaukee to a quaint community over 30 years ago where she started a family and began to read positive, affirming materials. Having grown up with an appreciation for nature and living fully, Karen wanted to share her philosophy but found that she felt challenged with the application of grammar and composition, not feeling prepared to write a manuscript. By putting her inspirations to paper in 2009, she began to realize that what flowed through her with increased intensity was a gift that she could not contain. Over 53 years of life. She raised two amazing children, had multiple businesses, continued her education, and has met some extraordinary people. Now; with years of self-discovery and personal growth hopes her life’s work will not only empower, but in some small way impact the world and deeply touch each reader as if the Happy Friday 🙂 message is written just for them. Karen’s statement of purpose is, “If the thought’s and words I write, touch but one, my purpose has been fulfilled.”

 

Links

Website

Facebook

Facebook

Instagram

Goodreads

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Guest Post The Convenient Escape

convenientescape

Please welcome author Robert Downs to my blog. Robert is the author of thriller “The Convenient Escape”, and he’s here to talk about his editing process today. I’ll leave the word to Robert now.

MY EDITING PROCESS

My editing process begins after the first draft. Before the time of my first edits, my goal is to write as fast as I can and keep my inner-editor at bay. It’s not always as easy it sounds, because that inner-critic likes to rear his ugly little head, and during that first draft, I go through periods of euphoria along with other times where I believe that what I’m writing is a big pile of crap. But the secret is to push the inner-critic down, focus on the positives, and keep on writing. Knowing that I have finished other novels certainly helps, but I wouldn’t say it makes the process any easier, because each novel is different, and creativity is a phenomenon I still don’t completely understand.

Once I have that first draft completed, I let it sit for a period of weeks or months to gain a certain distance and help change my perspective. The time away allows me to remove my creative hat and put on my editor cap. During this time, I’ve found that writing or editing another manuscript helps me pass the time and keeps my writing or my editing skills fresh. My first editing pass is with a hardcopy and either a red or blue pen, so the changes I make easily stand out against the black font. I hack away at my manuscript as much as necessary, often cutting paragraphs, pages, or even entire scenes. During this process, and sometimes not until I complete it, I often find that I have holes in my manuscript that I need to fill. So while I’m hacking away, I’m also looking for places to add description, internal monologue, and dialogue and action tags.

Once I have this pass completed, I’ll input the changes into my computer, and I often find that there are more deletions or additions I need to make. Sometimes I make the additions in my computer, but often it’s marking the places where I believe I can beef it up, and I mark these places with an ampersand, so I can expand upon them later.

Once my manuscript is more streamlined, the addition begins, and I’m adding characters or description or scenes or even chapters, as the manuscript and situation warrant. I’ll do as many passes as I need, and this varies from manuscript to manuscript alternating between editing the hardcopy and what’s on my computer. I’ve found that I don’t always catch the same things on my hardcopy that I do on my computer, so alternating between the two helps aid whatever project I’m currently working on. Boiling this process down in the simplest of terms, the editing process is subtraction followed by addition. This process doesn’t work for everyone, but I do know it works rather well for me.

When he’s not writing, Robert can be found reading, reviewing, blogging, or smiling. THE CONVENIENT ESCAPE is his fourth novel. To find out more about the author, please visit his website or Facebook Page.

About the Book

the-convenient-escape-front-coverTitle: The Convenient Escape

Author: Robert Downs

Genre: Thriller

To Veronica Baird, escaping from an underground dungeon and racing through the woods, is anything but convenient, even as her captor in rubber mask attire proves rather persistent in his continued pursuit. Despite her apparent independence, she considers a partnership, albeit reluctantly, with a former classmate who may still have feelings for her.

Pete Nealey still has flashbacks to Iraq and, with the bottle as his eternal companion, tends to fall off of barstools at the most inopportune moments or pass out face down in the tavern parking lot. But what he may lack in cheerfulness, he more than makes up for with his steadfast loyalty to the cause, even when he ends up handcuffed to an air conditioner in a shoddy motel.

But unless Veronica can learn to trust Pete for more than just intermittent intervals, the slipshod relationship, and her freedom, won’t last…

Author Bio

robert-downsRobert aspired to be a writer before he realized how difficult the writing process was. Fortunately, he’d already fallen in love with the craft, otherwise his stories might never have seen print. Originally from West Virginia, he has lived in Virginia, Massachusetts, New Mexico, and now resides in California. To find out more about what’s next on his list, visit the author’s website: http://www.RobertDowns.net.

When he’s not writing, Robert can be found reviewing, blogging, or smiling. Falling Immortality and Graceful Immortality helped him discover his true love: hard-boiled mysteries. LaCour’s Destiny helped him enter the mind of a female amateur sleuth with OCD tendencies. His fourth and fifth novels will come out this year with Black Opal Books.

Links

Author Website

Facebook

Goodreads

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Guest Post The Set Stealer

setstealerbanner

Please welcome Jonathon McElhaney on my blog today. The author is talking about editing process.

My Editing Process

Well the editing process was one of the most hardest things I’ve done and longest to. It took more than a year to get it done and a lot of long nights. New traditions publishing was amazing with the help of the editing process! They went over and over it again and rereading it over and over just to make sure everything was perfect. Any time u wanted something change or thought it didn’t feel right I told them about it and they would jump on and take care of it right away. I think we spent more time editing the book then I did writing it. I originally thought like most authors my book was perfect once it was done but once I started editing it myself I seen that it wasn’t. Once I had finished my own edit I was sure that it was then perfect once again I was proved wrong when I asked colleagues, family and friends to read it over and tell me what they thought. And sure enough they pointed out my mistakes. So I went back to work on the editing and once I was sure that it was good to go I submitted the final piece to new traditions publishing and then they went to work on it showing me what and where things still needed to be corrected and fixed. The editing process was a long and frustrating process but once it was completed I loved my book even more than I loved the original. To anyone who says editing a book I say make sure that even when you think it’s perfect make sure you someone, anyone to check your work because there’s always room for improvement. As much as I didn’t like the editing process and as much time as it took I know it was all worth it and from now on I look forward to working on the editing process for all my future works.

About the Book

Title: The Set Stealer

Author: Jonathon McElhaney

Genre: YA Fantasy

A Set is a gift. A power that one can bring from within themselves and manifest to change the physical world. Everyone has at least one, ranging from the mundane to the all powerful. That is, everyone except Kayla. But when her father is murdered in front of her, Kayla is sent on a collision course with destiny as she is forced on adventure to discover not only who killed her father but who she is. Searching within herself, Kayla must find her own power – even without a Set to protect her – and save not only herself, but the world she loves.

Author Bio

I’m a military veteran, a father of two beautiful daughters.

Links

Buy on Amazon

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