How Does a Blog Tour work?
What is a Blog Tour you ask? I wondered the same thing. I decided that a Blog Tour is tag for grown-up social media junkies. I was honored to be “tagged”in a blog by a writer I admire, and so I could not resist doing the same. I contacted two authors to follow me, H. Squires and Anna Questerly. They agreed to post their blog next Monday “tagging” two to three other authors and answer the same four questions about their writing process that I’m going to address below, and so the Blog Tour continues. Their profiles and links will be at the end of this blog. Want to join the bandwagon? Contact one of them and introduce yourself. They might include you on their upcoming post!
How the Blog Tour Began for me.
Last Monday I was featured on the blog of a wonderful author that I have the pleasure of knowing . Let me tell you a little about her.
Gale Leach’s first publication, The Art of Pickleball ,was the winner of the AZ Book Award. She has also written Bruce and the Road to Courage that was followed by three more children’s books in the award winning series. Currently she is working on a YA Fantasy series called The Rift. Personally, I can’t wait to read it. Gale also has her own publishing company, Two Cats Press, and lives in AZ with her husband, two dogs, and three cats.
You can read more about her and her writing process at: http://www.galeleach.com/blog/my-writing-process-part-of-a-blog-tour
Ready for me to drop some knowledge?
1. What am I working on now?
I’m currently sprinting toward the finish line of my second book in the Anahera Daniels Series, The Emergence. It’s YA fiction, with a good dose of suspense and a dash of romance just like its predecessor, The Disillusionment. Although it has been a busy year and I am under a crunch to finish, I’m inspired to kick it into high gear by the endearing reviews and pleas for more. How could any writer resist that?
Let me catch you up a bit, without any spoilers. In The Disillusionment, Anahera learns she can travel to the world Posternis, that life as she knew it was painfully different from reality, and that she was being hunted by a Gargoyle Queen she had never met. Her life quickly becomes torn between two worlds as well as her High School crush, Nathan, and Adrian a Posternis native. When the deadly side effects of traveling force her to make a choice, life will never be the same.
In The Emergence, Anahera has fully embraced her gift and new reality, however when her Posternian family never return from an invitation of peace by the Gargoyle Queen on the world of Admeta, someone has to investigate. Anahera launches a rescue mission, but not before being forced into taking Nathan and Adrian, the two boys that pull her heart in different directions, along for the ride.
I have loved watching The Emergence unfold, chapter by chapter. I’m a fan of fast paced stories with cliffhangers and mystery and that is what I inspire to include in my writing. And most of all, I can’t wait to see how it ends!
I’m also currently writing a four part blog series called Tips From Your Publisher: 4 Steps from Manuscript to Book. Stay tuned to find out how easy it can be, and some great tips on how to do it the right way, the first time.
2. How does my work differ from others in its genre?
I intentionally wrote my main character, Anahera, to be strong, curious and independent. Although the love triangle between her and Nathan and Adrian is a major plotline, it is far from the sum of who she is. So many YA Fiction novels make their characters dependant, even co-dependant, on their love interests and I disagree with the message it sends to our youth. We should be telling them, “You do not need him or her to be complete, you are complete.” Every person has their likes, dislikes, talents and abilities. We are a WHOLE person and any addition to that should compliment what we already have. You’ll be hard pressed to find a book in my genre that doesn’t portray half a person in need of another to complete them. I think it is a missed opportunity to build self esteem, rather than insinuate they are not enough just as they are.
3. Why do I write what I do?
There’s not much of a mystery to this one for me. I worked as a nanny and in childcare for nearly twenty years. I love kids and believe that any time we invest in helping them grow and mature is time well spent. They are creative and fascinating and deserve a second look rather than to be over-looked. Several of my teen characters were inspired by kids that I mentored or have friendships with. When the little ones I watched became avid readers they pushed me to open up to YA books so that we could have a dialogue about them. There was no way I would turn down a chance to support such a great habit as reading, so I made my way through the stacks of books they left for me. Several I enjoyed whereas other caused me concern. They fed into a love starved craze that seemed unhealthy and even dangerous at times. It was those books that encouraged me to write the Anahera Daniels Series.
4. How does my writing process work?
You mean other than ridiculous amounts of coffee and staring at the computer screen for hours on end?
Developing my story starts on paper. I make a rough outline of plot points that I know I want or need to happen. I don’t spend much time on this because I have discovered that they often take on a mind of their own and develop into something better than I had planned. I use it as a vague map that I only check in with if I start to feel a little lost. Then I just start typing. It comes. I watch each scene play out in my head like a movie. I often rewind and replay it again until it works and then describe what I am seeing, smelling, tasting, feeling and hearing on paper.
I guess you could also call me a spurt writer. When I’m not in my office with a cat on my lap (which by the way, serves to hold me down in a chair) I like to camp out at a local coffee shop. The people and movement are inspiring. I turn my headphones down to create a steady background noise and then attempt to attack a chapter. I keep each one around 2,000 words to maintain the pace of my book. I prefer to write each one in a sitting. It’s like riding a wave, and I want to take it all the way into the shore. It also makes it easier for me to end the chapter with enough tension that the reader will struggle to put it down. I am proudly guilty of causing reader’s sleep deprivation! Writing a chapter a day, two to three times a week is my normal and preferred process, however I also enjoy writers retreats to a cabin in the woods where I might write a couple chapters a day every day.
Whatever system you use to keep you writing, enjoy it, develop it, but don’t try and conform to someone else’s.
Meet the Upcoming Talent
Heather Squires lives in Phoenix, Arizona with her husband, two daughters, and a small zoo of animals she and her family have rescued. Heather’s love for writing began as a child when her family moved from Albuquerque, New Mexico to Phoenix, Arizona. As the new kid in a strange town, she became the target of bullies. Heather withdrew into the pages of her books and the blank pages of her journals. Writing short stories of adventure, heroism, and dark tales, she would envision the obliteration of tormentors and monsters.
It wasn’t until high school that a teacher noticed Heather’s writing ability through an epitaph assignment. The same teacher encouraged her forward to work on the Utopian Newspaper as an editorialist. After high school, she decided to try novel writing; however, starting a family put that dream on hold. Resuming at a later time, Heather finished her first novel in 2005, but set it aside to write another book. Sharpening her skills, Heather’s second attempt at novel writing was completed in 2009. At the end of 2010, she got an idea for a third project. Then in 2011, Heather took a bold leap of faith and quit her job, in order to invest all her time to writing. The Sphere of Archimedes was published in 2013, as her first published work. Its sequel, The Omphalos of Delphi, is anticipated in 2014.
You can check out H. Squires blog on Monday the 14th at: http://hsquiresnovels.com/blog/
Anna Questerly lives in Phoenix, Arizona, with her husband, Thom, and their two Border Collies, Bridget and Bandit. When she’s not writing, you can often find her at her
favorite bookstore, Dog-Eared Pages. Anna considers herself a minstrel. Although she cannot sing, dance, or play an instrument, she does enjoy writing stories.
Anna has wanted to be a writer since the sixth grade, when she first read J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit. She dabbled with half-finished novels for many years after that, and never really settled down to seriously write and actually finish a book until recently.
Besides working on her next novel, she teaches writing workshops for young people who want to write. She loves to visit schools to talk about writing, and encourages young people to read more, and to begin their writing career while they are still young.
You can reach Anna through her website www.annaquesterly.com, from there, you can follow her on Twitter, friend her on Facebook, subscribe to her blog, or send her an email.
You can check out Anna Questeryl’s blog on July 14th at: www.annaquesterly.com
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