Thursday, March 21, 2013

Author Interview- Kelley Lynn

I am so happy to have my wonderful and talented collab partner and CP on my blog today for an interview. And It just so happens to be her book birthday today! Happy book birthday Kelley!

JS:  Your first book FRACTION OF STONE is coming out today, March 21st. Can you tell us a little about it?
KL:  Sure! Here’s the book blurb! (Is that totally cheating?? Haha)

Wind tunnels, torrential rains and earthquakes tear apart Casden. The cause of the world’s imbalance is unknown, but the mounting occurrences suggest there’s little time before life ceases to exist.

Rydan Gale and Akara Nazreth are the only humans with the ability to wield magic. The tattoo on their necks and the discovery of an ancient book, dictate they are the key to the world’s survival.

But the greatest obstacle for saving mankind isn’t the bizarre creatures, extreme betrayals and magic-fearing men hunting them.

It’s that Akara doesn’t believe the world is worth saving.

JS:  How many books will be it this series?
KL:  There will be four books in the Fraction Series. I’ve been saying for a while that I need to start the second one. I’m totally excited to write it. To watch the characters grow further, fight more.

I should really start the second book. Haha 

JS:  How long did it take you to write this book?
KL:  The first draft took me ten days. It was my 2011 NaNo project. Of course it took a little while longer to make it shiny, but it was on submission come January 2012. 

JS:  How many query letters did you send out for FRACTION?
KL:  Oh heck. A million. Haha. Not quite, but it felt like that. I submitted it to every agent I thought it would be good for. I had many full requests, almost all ended with “This is a good piece of work, but Epic Fantasy is a hard sell right now.” It was hard to deal with the constant rejection and I had other work I was ready to submit so I thought I would just shelve it. After telling my CPs, they freaked and told me not to give up. So I sent it to a few small publishers. Sapphire Star Publishing replied to my query in a matter of days and requested the full. Three days later, they offered.

And to think, I had almost given up. 

JS:  How did you get the idea for FRACTION?
KL:  This is the only story (out of the nine I have written) that was inspired by a character, not an idea or concept. Akara’s character, so broken and depressed that there was absolutely no reason to live, came to me on a plane when I was struggling with my current NaNo project. I wrote the first chapter, not having any idea what the story would be about, just writing a chapter about Akara. The first chapter has had almost no revisions. 

JS:  When did you decide to write your first novel? 
KL:  I decided to write my first novel in 2011. It was a YA Dystopian (though at the time I had no idea that’s what it was.) It was just for fun, because I had an idea that wouldn’t leave me alone. Once it was done, I wondered what it would take to publish, so I Googled it.

And the journey began. (Not with that story however. That story needs MAJOR rewrites to see the light of day.) 

JS:  You have two other books out on submission. Can you tell us a little about them?
KL:  I’d love to!
One that’s on submission is ALREADY THERE, a YA Contemporary which I wrote with the uber talented Jenny Morris. It’s about two sisters and how even though they are completely different, their belief in the other gives them the confidence to face their futures.

The other is a solo project called THE CRICKET PROJECT, a YA Science Fiction. It takes the idea, ‘When You Wish Upon a Star’ literally. The United States government has developed the ability to take stars from the sky and use the energy to alter reality, granting any wish we desire. 

JS:  What are you working on now?
KL:  Well…I’m working on polishing a SUPER fun collab with the crazy talented owner of this blog :). And, as mentioned above, sometime soon I will start the sequel to FRACTION OF STONE. I promise. :)

JS:  What book has been your favorite to write?
KL:  Oh gosh. That’s like picking a favorite child. (I would imagine… as I don’t have any children. Haha) They’ve all been super fun. I can say that THE CRICKET PROJECT was the most difficult for me to write. Lyra (the main character) and I just didn’t get along right away. But we’ve worked it out now.

JS:  What advice would you give to any unpublished authors?
KL:  You can do it. I know that sounds cliché and cheesy, but it’s true. Through all the rejections I told myself that if I never gave up, eventually it would happen. Because I wasn’t going to stop until I made it.

Random Questions
Vanilla or chocolate?  Hmm, this depends. I LOVE chocolate. But if we’re talking ice cream or cake, I would choose vanilla with chocolate toppings :)
Coffee or tea?  Coffee, as long as its got a bunch of other stuff in it.
Beach or snow?  Beach, because that means I’m on vaca!
Last book read?  Ordinary Heroes by Scott Turow 
Favorite author?  Hmm, I don’t do the ‘favorite’ thing. The author who inspired me to write FRACTION OF STONE was Laini Taylor, who wrote DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE. She is a genius with the written language.
Most played song on iPod?  It’s always on shuffle but… while writing FRACTION OF STONE it was the newest album by Evanescence. That album is EPIC. 
Favorite movie?  Again, don’t do the favorites thing but one of the best I’ve seen recently was Silver Linings Playbook. I also really enjoyed Pitch Perfect. 
Outliner or panster?  Panster. Extreme panster.
Flats or heels?  Both
Lipstick or chapstick?  Chapstick

Eventually the day came when the voices in Kelley Lynn’s head were more insistent then her engineering professor’s. So instead of turning to her Thermodynamics book, Kelley brought up a blank page on her computer screen and wrote. Somewhere along the way she became a Young Adult author.

Kelley was born and raised a Midwestern girl. She’s not afraid to sweat and fills her free time with softball, soccer and volleyball. (Though you probably don’t want her on your volleyball team.) She occasionally makes guest appearances as a female vocalist for area bands. Music plays a large role in her writing process as well as the characters and plot lines within her stories.

You can find Kelley hanging out at her blog, titled in her name, as well as the group blog she shares with her fellow critique partners, Falling for Fiction. Kelley is a member of the Society of Children’s Books Writers and Illustrators.

FRACTION OF STONE is avalable at Barnes and Noble, Amazon, and Amazon Kindle.

Do you know Kelley? Adding her book to your TBR list? Already bought it?


Monday, March 11, 2013

Critique Partners- What to Expect

One of the most important thing to becoming a good writer, I think, is being part of a critique group.

Being part of a CG makes you a better writer in a few different ways.

  • It gets you reading other people's writing and analyzing it. 
  • You start to look at the bigger picture.
  • Gives you input on your writing.
  • It shows you where your story/writing may be weak.

When you start a CG you should set down ground rules.

  • How often will you exchange work? When it's finished? Chapter by chapter? Some other arrangement?
  • Time-How long will you take to critique?
  • What kind of critique will you give? Line by line? Overall?
  • What are your strengths and weaknesses? (I am horrible at grammar- I let my CP's know that up front.)
  • Honesty—honest feedback is important, but it's important to be nice about it too.

Looking for a Critique Partner or a beta reader? Look no farther!

The girls over at Falling For Fiction are hooking you up. With a CP or Beta that is. Now through the 20th go here and fill out the questionnaire. E-mail it to the lovely ladies at FFF and they will set you up. It's that easy.

Do you have a CP group? Did you set ground rules? Are you going to participate in The Matchelor.


Wednesday, March 6, 2013

IWSG- I Get By With a Little Help

This is my post for the Insecure Writer's Support Group. It's a group thought up by the ninja himself, Alex J. Cavanaugh. The group posts the first Wednesday of every month and is a wonderful way to support and get encouragement from and for your fellow writers. If you would like to join the group or see the other blogs that participate in it go HERE.

 This week has been a pretty hard one in regards to my insecurities. This weekend I tried to get some writing done and I stared at my screen thinking my old thoughts of: why are you pretending to be a writer? What do you think you're doing... no one wants to read anything you've written. Whatever made you think you could actually write books? And do it for a living?

 It was so bad had I not been invested in having a blog, my writer friends who hold me accountable (thank you all), and signing up for the conference in May, I probably would have deleted all my files and given up.

Of course, at a later date I would of cried over all my work gone, but still. But I pushed through. I thought about all the kind words I received over the past year. I thought about all the encouragement I received... and I made myself write. And not for me. For you. For all my friends who have told me I could do this. For my CP's who have tore apart my MS, but in the end made it better. And for all those smiley faces, Lol's, so so so goods, and I love this. Nine chapters edited and over a thousand words later, I felt a little better.

 So, thank you my friends. Your faith in me has given me faith in myself when I didn't know if I could go on. And that's what we're here for. So if any of you ever need a cheerleader, just let me know. I have my pom poms ready.