Blog Tour: Black Wings Beating by Alex London – Interview

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Welcome to day 3 of the Black Wings Beating Blog Tour!

Today is release day which everyone should go out and buy Black Wings Beating if you haven’t preordered it already!

Black Wings Beating is the first in new fantasy falconer series by Alex London known as The Skybound Saga. I was fortunate enough to pick Alex’s brain about this action packed, high stakes novel which follows twins Brysen and Kylee’s journey through treacherous mountains in search of the elusive Ghost Eagle.

 

interview

What was the initially inspired you to write this story? We don’t see a lot of YA fantasy using birds of prey as their animal companion.

It began with falconry, and quickly became about so much more.

Falconry is an ancient practice that just about every culture on earth has invented at some point, where a person trains a killer bird to fly from their fist, hunt for them, and then, against all bird of prey instinct, surrender what they’ve killed. In early 2016, I couldn’t stop thinking about it. It is the art of managing another being’s longing, keeping them just hungry enough to hunt for you.

To me, it was an apt metaphor for my first love.

A bird of prey isn’t like a dog; they can’t love a person the way a person can love them. Though a falcon learns to associate their tamer’s fist with food, they can and do turn on them at any time. They are alien minds with powerful talons and razor-sharp beaks, and as much time and care as a falconer pours into one, there comes this moment when they launch from the fist to the sky that the falconer simply has to trust that all will be okay. It isn’t always. Sometimes, that’s when the falcon leaves forever. A falconer can put years of care and thousands of dollars into the training of a falcon and have that falcon one day simply sky out, gone for reasons that they might never know or understand.

When I developed my first really intense crush on another guy–one of the lacrosse players at my high school–I found myself coming up with all sorts of excuses to be around him. I tried to be present without being noticed, lest he fly off like a nervous bird, or attack. This is just how a falconer gets a bird used to them. They try to be present but invisible. Like a captured wild hawk, my lax guy could have easily disappeared into the popular kids group if I made myself too visible. He also could have torn me limb from limb. The closer I got to him, the more dangerous it felt, but also the more thrilling. For a brief time, I felt like we’d really bonded, and I might’ve even gotten to nerve to tell him how I felt, but one day, he just pulled away, cut himself off from me, and was gone. No matter how much I longed to be around him, his desire was not my desire, and however well I thought I knew his mind, I had no idea what went on behind his eyes.

So for me, the idea of a falconer is the same as a crush, longing for a creature from a different sky, who might perch with you awhile, but can never belong to you.

I wanted to explore that, but, in doing research, discovered so much cool stuff about birds of prey and about the cultures of falconry, that it seemed wild to me no one had made falconry central to a fantasy world. I didn’t want to just write killer birds as a metaphor for longing. I wanted to write a kick-ass world filled with actual kick-ass killer birds, sacred, deadly, awe-inspiring predators.

 

When we met at BEA I briefly mentioned your cover reminded me of The Birds by Alfred Hitchcock, which I studied in college. Did the film play a part when writing Black Wings Beating?

It didn’t, but I think the film and the book came from a similar place, that primal human fascination we have with these creatures who soar above us, whose eyes hold an intelligence so unlike our own, and how they command the sky in a way we never will.

 

Can you talk about the research you did for this book? What was that like working with Master Falconer Mike Dupuy?

Well, because I’m a nerd, my research started in books. I read Helen Macdonald’s H is For Hawk and TH White’s The Goshawk. Then I got into more scientific books about birds of prey and more niche stuff about falconers and falconry. Eventually, I reached out to Mike Dupuy who let me come out to his farm, answered my endless questions, showed me his falconry gear, introduced me to his impressive cast of birds of prey …and then took me out to fly one of his birds (the tamest one…). My agent and I took turns tossing the hawk from our gloves into the sky, then calling it back to our fists again to let it from our hands. It was a sublime experience. Birds of prey are very skilled killers, very fast, but also so light and delicate and sensitive. No sudden movements around them or they could fly off. I love that about them: the only way to unleash their violence is through deep care, gentleness, and rapt attention. Deep care, gentleness, and rapt attention is also a pretty apt description of love.

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Black Wings Beating is the first book of yours I read. I hadn’t realized not only do you write YA, but you’ve also written several picture books, middle grade, and adult. How does your writing process differ for each age group?

It really doesn’t differ that much, except with picture books. They are an entirely different thing. I write what I hope is a compelling story and if the concerns, subject, and voice is authentic for a teen, then it will find its way to being a YA novel. The same is true for middle grade. The subjects and content and tone of what feels true and immediate and engaging for an 11 year old are going to be different than what compels a YA reader. Of course, in the revision process for middle grade, I think more about sentence structure, vocabulary, and context that they’ll bring to the story. I have to be mindful of that stuff, but any writer aware of their audience will be mindful of that stuff anyway.

 

As twins, Brysen and Kylee are complete opposites with very different views of what it means to do the right thing for the right reasons. Brysen does things for himself , whereas Kylee tries to shoulder everything for her family. How did you develop these characters and how do Brysen and Kylee reflect who you are?

They came to me quite whole. While the details of their lives could not be more different from my own, I drew much of their psychological makeup from myself. Brysen’s struggles with depression and anxiety are much like my own. His longing for approval and trying to measure up to some arbitrary standard are also, sadly, much my own issues too. Kylee, on the other hand, is waaaaaay more resourceful and generous of spirit than I am! But her feelings of responsibility, her sense that she has to be the one to solve everything all the time…I definitely have that instinct, though I don’t act on it quite as intensely as she does.

Mostly, I hope, these two characters are their own people though, with their own unique wants and flaws. It’s my job as the writer to press against those wants and those flaws and hope something exciting, honest, and powerful comes out of it. My own issues are more like logs thrown into the bonfire of these characters. If it catches, the flames are entirely their own.

 

Can you talk a bit about the Uztari, Altari, and, Kartami and their different beliefs about bird training and where that stems from?

The Uztari both revere birds of prey and use them as the basis for their culture and economy. They are, in the language I invented for them, “bound to the sky.” Everything in their world centers around or stems from the worship, training, or trading in birds of prey. The Altari—”mountain bound”—are exiles from the mountains, banned by their own faith and Uztari law from training birds of prey. They are excluded from the dominant culture and have invented systems for themselves that explain it. They loathe the Uztari who exile them, but of course, no faith is uniform, and there are Altari who make compromises. Lastly, the Kartami —“the shards”—are fanatics whose goal is eliminate the birds of prey, the falconers, and all who collaborate with them. They see themselves as the only true faith of the world in which this story is set, and they are merciless in enforcing their beliefs as they conquer territory. Of course, there is more going on with them than it might at first seem. The distinctions between the three groups are also not quite what they seem…

 

The cover reminds me of a specific scene in the novel in the woods. Also I didn’t notice all 4 character silhouettes until recently. Did you have any input in the cover process?

I’m obsessed with this cover! The designer, Elizabeth Clark, did an amazing job! They showed me drafts and I got to give a few notes but really, this was the creative team at Macmillan who took the book and flew with it. I love what they did and I get what to see what they come up with for the rest of the trilogy!

 

If you were a falconer in your own world, which bird of prey would you choose?

Oh, that’s a tough one! They’re like Pokemon—I wanna train them all! But, I guess I’d choose between an owl—because they fly silently!—or a goshawk, like Brysen’s. They have a reputation for being difficult, moody, and vicious, but I think they’re beautiful and intelligent and fascinating and I feel like I’d rather tame a complicated bird who can astonish me, than a more predictable one who will never give me any trouble. I suppose it’s a lot like romance that way too.


BWB_CVR_final.jpgBlack Wings Beating

The people of Uztar have long looked to the sky with hope and wonder. Nothing in their world is more revered than the birds of prey and no one more honored than the falconers who call them to their fists.

Brysen strives to be a great falconer―while his twin sister, Kylee, rejects her ancient gifts for the sport and wishes to be free of falconry. She’s nearly made it out, too, but a war is rolling toward their home in the Six Villages, and no bird or falconer will be safe.

Together the twins must journey into the treacherous mountains to trap the Ghost Eagle, the greatest of the Uztari birds and a solitary killer. Brysen goes for the boy he loves and the glory he’s long craved, and Kylee to atone for her past and to protect her brother’s future. But both are hunted by those who seek one thing: power.

In this first young-adult fantasy novel in a trilogy, Alex London launches a soaring saga about the memories that haunt us, the histories that hunt us, and the bonds of blood between us.

Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Indiebound | Indigo | Book Depository


ALEXANDER LONDONAbout Alex

Alex London is the beloved author of the middle-grade series, Tides of War, Dog Tags, and The Wild Ones. His young-adult novel Proxy, was an ALA Top Ten Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers and was included in their 2014 Best Fiction for Young Adults List, the Texas Lone Star Reading List, and the TAYSHAS Reading List selection, among many other state reading lists. He lives in Philadelphia.

Website | Twitter | Instagram | Tumblr |  Goodreads


Many thanks to Morgan at Macmillan for organizing this and a big thank you to Alex for answering all my questions!

MelissaSig

 

Be sure to check out the rest of the blog tour:

9/23 Here’s to Happy Endings – Review
9/24 It’s Jane Lindsey – Review
9/24 Book Whit – Review
9/24 YA Biblophile – Review
9/25 Christine Manzari – Instagram Post
9/25 Live Love Read – Interview
9/26 One Way or an Author – Fan Art
9/26 Fiction Fare – Review
9/27 Arctic Books – Moodboard
9/27 The Adeventures of Cecelia Bedelia – Review
9/28 Bookish Connoisseur – Review
9/28 Reader Rewind – Review
9/29 thebumblegirl – Review

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Cover Reveal: Toxic by Lydia Kang

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*blows dust off blog* Hello fellow book nerds!

I’m excited to participate in another cover reveal! Coming this Fall is Lydia Kang’s latest novel Toxic!

*cue Britney*

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**JUST KIDDING!** This gif doesn’t match the book at all!


About Toxic by Lydia Kang

Genre: YA Scifi
Release date: November 6th 2018
Entangled Teen

Summary:

Cyclo, the first and largest biological ship of its kind, is dying. A small crew of mercenaries have handed over the rights to their life to document the death of the ship, but the abandoned ship is anything but abandoned—one girl has been left behind.

Hana has known nothing but the isolation of a single room and the secret that has kept her there for seventeen years. When she meets Fennec, the boy assigned to watch her, she realizes that there is a world she has yet to experience but she is doomed to never meet.

When crew members begin mysteriously dying, Hana and Fenn realize that they are racing against the death of the ship to find a way to survive—unless someone kills them even before Hana’s truly had a chance to live.

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So without further ado…

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What a sinister looking flower. Does it play a role in the book? Hmmm….

 

Be sure to add the book to Goodreads!!! You can find ome pre-Order links available HERE! As always I’m in support of Indie Bookstores, and if you are too pre-order from Indiebound.


lydiakangAbout the Lydia

Lydia Kang is an author of young adult fiction, poetry, and narrative non-fiction. She graduated from Columbia University and New York University School of Medicine, completing her residency and chief residency at Bellevue Hospital in New York City. She is a practicing physician who has gained a reputation for helping fellow writers achieve medical accuracy in fiction. Her poetry and non-fiction have been published in JAMA, The Annals of Internal Medicine, Canadian Medical Association Journal, Journal of General Internal Medicine, and Great Weather for Media. She believes in science and knocking on wood, and currently lives in Omaha with her husband and three children.

Author Links: Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Facebook

 

Cover Reveal Organized By:

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COVER REVEAL: Imprison the Sky by A.C. Gaughen

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*blows dust off blog*

Happy Thursday everyone!

I’m thrilled to team up with Bloomsbury to reveal the cover to A.C. Gaughen’s next book in the Elementae series!  IMPRISON THE SKY is the sequel to REIGN THE EARTH (but it can also be read as a standalone!) and features Aspasia, a new inspiring female protagonist who is a rebel wind Elementa.

 

So without further ado….

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IMPRISON THE SKY
By A. C. Gaughen
Publication Date: January 22, 2019
Ages 14 and up

Bloomsbury |Goodreads

Stolen from her family as a child, Aspasia has clawed her way up the ranks of Cyrus’s black market empire to captain her own trading vessel–and she risks it all every time she uses her powerful magic to free as many women, children, and Elementae from slavery as she can.

But Cyrus is close to uncovering her secrets–not only that Aspasia is a wind Elementa with the ability to sail her ship through the sky, but that she is also searching for her lost family. And if Aspasia can’t find her younger siblings before Cyrus does, she will never be able to break free.

Armed with her loyal crew full of Elementae and a new recruit who controls an intriguing power, Aspasia finds herself in the center of a brewing war that spans every inch of the ocean, and her power alone may not be enough to save her friends, family, and freedom.


Annie+Gaughen-0009.jpgA.C. Gaughen

Author of the Elementae series and of Scarlet, Lady Thief, and Lion Heart. She serves as the Director of Girls’ Leadership for the non-profit Boston GLOW, creating opportunities to encourage and engage teen girls in the Greater Boston area. She has a Master’s in Creative Writing from St. Andrews University in Scotland and a Master’s in Education from Harvard University.

Website | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook | Goodreads

 

Thank you so much to Courtney & Emily at Bloomsbury for inviting me to participate! I cannot wait to get my hands on this book!

What do you think of the cover? Leave your comments down below!!

 

MelissaSig

#Sightwitch Tours!

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Hello Everyone!

Welcome to the home for the #Sightwitch Tour, in which we’ll be sharing links for all instagram, youtube, and blog posts for our favorite author, Susan Dennard’s, release of Sightwitch.

This tour starts tomorrow, Monday, February 4th, and will go all the way through Friday, March 2nd with one to two posts per day. We hope you’ll join us in supporting her and her books, and visiting all of these wonderful reviewers and their websites. =)

Don’t forget to pre-order your copy of Sightwitch now, and follow her physical tour over the next few weeks! I’ll be seeing her on the 17th in Neshaminy, PA, and hope to see more of you there!

Buy Links:

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books A Million | Book Depository

Book Tour:

Barnes & Noble at the Grove
with Holly Black & Victoria Aveyard
7 PM on 2/15/18
Los Angeles, CA

Mysterious Galaxy
with Holly Black
7PM on 2/16/18
San Diego, CA

Barnes & Noble at Neshaminy
with Elise Kova
2PM on 2/17/18
Bensalem, PA

Interabang
with Lindsay Cummings
7PM on 2/19/18
Dallas, TX

Book People
with Vilma Gonzalez
7PM on 2/20/18
Austin, TX

Changing Hands
with Alexandra Bracken & Suzanne Young
7PM on 2/21/18
Tempe, AZ

Review Tour Schedule:

Blog/Insta Name: Blog/Insta URL:
February 4th: #1 A Simple Cup of Tea http://www.youtube.com/c/ASimpleCupofTea
#2 A Court of Tales www.nataliawikana.wordpress.com
February 5th: #1 PaperTrailYA http://papertrailya.com http://instagram.com/papertrailya
#2 Novel Cravings https://novelcravings.wordpress.com/
February 6th: #1 The Candid Cover https://candidcover.net
#2 @pinguicha http://instagram.com/pinguicha
February 7th: #1 Bookish Whimsy bookishwhimsy.com
#2
February 8th: #1 Live, Love, Read YA livelovereadya.wordpress.com
#2 @nickijreadsya http://instagram.com/nickijreadsya
February 9th: #1 @AmandasAfterword https://www.instagram.com/amandasafterword/
#2 The AP Book Club http://theapbookclub.blogspot.com/
February 12th: #1 A Reading Red Sox http://areadingredsox.blogspot.com  http://www.instagram.com/areadingredsox/
#2 TheBookNerdDiaries http://instagram.com/thebooknerddiaries
February 13th: #1 Library of a Book Witch http://www.libraryofabookwitch.com http://instagram.com/jlstasi
#2
February 14th: #1 A (Secret) Book Nook / @insaneforfun http://www.asecretbooknook.tumblr.com
#2 Sarcasm and Lemons www.sarcasmandlemons.com
February 15th: #1 @darkferietales_ https://www.instagram.com/darkfaerietales_
#2 Kyera’s Library & kyeralynn http://kyeraslibrary.com http://instagram.com/kyeralynn
February 16th: #1 deertales http://deertales.blog http://instagram.com/deertales
#2
February 19th: #1 Life Writings of a Reader www.lifewritingsofareader.wordpress.com
#2 Books & Babbles http://www.booksandbabbles.com https://www.instagram.com/booksandbabblesblog/
February 20th: #1 Redd’s Reads http://reddsreads.wordpress.com
#2 A Backwards Story http://abackwardsstory.blogspot.com
February 21st: #1 @erinsummerill https://www.instagram.com/erinsummerill
#2 Goldilox and the Three Weres https://www.goldiloxandthethreewers.blogspot.com
February 22nd: #1 Avid Reader avdreader.wordpress.com
#2 Life Should Be Lit Lifeshouldbelit.wordress.com
February 23rd: #1 @Seeing_Double_In_Neverland
https://www.instagram.com/seeing_double_in_neverland/
#2 Smada’s Book Smack http://smadasbooksmack.blogspot.com https://instagram.com/krlga00
February 26th: #1 Bookcheshirecat https://bookcheshirecat.wordpress.com/
#2 @beautifullybookishbethany https://www.youtube.com/c/beautifullybookishbethany https://www.instagram.com/beautifullybookishbethany
February 27th: #1 Ceres Books World https://ceresbooksworld.com/
#2 Deckled Edges (@decklededgess) https://www.youtube.com/user/legsnosenmrsrobinsonhttps://www.youtube.com/user/legsnosenmrsrobinson https://www.instagram.com/decklededgess
February 28th: #1 Perks of Being a Book Freak http://www.theperksofbeingabookfreak.wordpress.com
#2 Room 22 Epic Readers http://mrsjennkelly22.blogspot.com/
March 1st: #1 Milky Way of Books http://milkywayofbooks.blogspot.gr/
#2 Mary Had a Little Book Blog http://knoxdiver.blogspot.com
March 2nd: #1 Bibliobibuli YA http://bibliobibuliya.com/
#2 jlw reads https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCXm8hIPzhGvlOtghfGL7FVA/featured

 

 

REIGN THE EARTH Blog Tour

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WELCOME to the first stop on the Reign the Earth blog tour!

In case you didn’t already know, Reign the Earth is about Shaila, a daughter of the desert who is hoping to achieve peace for her people by becoming Queen of the Bonelands. Upon her arrival she comes into her powers over the Earth, which she must hide from her husband, Calix, who is determined to eliminate the Elementae, people who can control the elements.

We were asked “Which strong woman would you choose to help you REIGN THE EARTH?”  I decided to choose two literary characters, Alanna of Trebond and Zoya Nazyalensky.

We all have that one book that changed our life and for me it was Alanna by Tamora Pierce.  I guess you could say Alanna was my true introduction to YA before it was even YA.  I was about 12 years old when I read the book and I was in complete awe of Alanna’s determination and courage to become a knight regardless of her gender. I became more aware of what it meant to persevere and follow my dreams (though let’s be honest my dreams to be a veterinarian didn’t last long).  I know Alanna would make a great friend and ally with her skills as a mage and sword.

Even though Zoya Nazyalensky, a powerful Squaller, comes off arrogant, ambitious, and is a bitch to Alina in Shadow and Bone, she improves a lot throughout the series.  She proves herself to be loyal and trustworthy friend.  I love her even more when she makes an appearance in Crooked Kingdom! She is a force to be reckoned with and I would be lucky to have her on my side.


Giveaway

1 lucky winner will win a signed hardcover copy of Reign the Earth! (US/CAN only)

ENTER THE GIVEAWAY

 

Be sure to visit the other blogs on the tour!

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From The Agent’s Desk: How to Edit!

From The Agent’s Desk:
How to Edit!

I was having a conversation with my author, Shanna, the other day, and she was reading a post about editing and what to do once you’ve finished your first manuscript. Of course, she then goes on a clarifying rant about how it’s not just editing, but HOW to edit that took her a while to understand. Being the English person I am, I completely didn’t understand this for a minute and spent some time just sitting and thinking about it. I turned back to her, now realizing that editing and writing doesn’t come naturally for most people and immediately said, “THIS is something I can write about!”

So, here I am, and here you are reading this, hoping to better your editing skills. No pressure, right?! I’m better at teaching than I am at small talk, so let’s just get right to it!

Editing is so much about knowing your character, your story, and your voice, and most importantly, your weaknesses. Most people can’t identify their weaknesses until they have someone else point it out for them, and even then, writing is so subjective that another’s opinion doesn’t always help you with your own story and voice. There are times it’s even taken people years for someone to say “hey, you’re doing this wrong” in order for things to finally click into place.

The guidelines below are to help you identify weaknesses in your work and other people’s work. They’re not cure-alls, and they are most definitely not an instantaneous fix, but they will help you learn and recognize what’s most needed in your work when you’re so used to your voice that you can’t separate yourself from your manuscript. I highly advise multiple beta readers and critique partners in addition to these editing techniques, as all of these experiences help you to become a better writer! So, read on, my dear writers, and please feel free to share your thoughts and ideas in the comments below!

1. Repetition of Words

This is a huge one I see constantly during line edits. If you’re repeating words, it needs to be purposeful and part of your voice/character’s voice. It should be a catchphrase or related to an emotion. However, repeating words for readers means that you’re losing your reader’s interest quickly. They’re reading your story because it’s something different, so you need to GIVE them something different in each line. Each line, paragraph, page, chapter, etc., should be ADDING to their experience as readers and moving them along at a nice pace. It’s all purposeful, and repetition of words is one of the biggest mistakes a writer can make.

In addition to this, there are probably a couple thousand words in your manuscript that you don’t even need in the vein of “that”, “very”, “just”, “softly” and many more. DELETE these words. They’re some of the most common words in the English language and they do nothing to further your manuscript and your writing.

I highly suggest going to Diana Urban’s post here, where she lists 43 words that you should be able to cut from your manuscript immediately. Open it, read it, look for them, and delete them!

2. Sentence Structure Variation

Speaking of words, sentence structure variation is my biggest pet peeve. This is especially difficult for people writing in first person because you’re somewhat limited, and then your sentences come out with “I ran to the mall. I bought that shirt I had wanted for so long. I had finally fulfilled my dream of owning the blue shirt. All my hard work paid off.”

Almost every single sentence we write naturally comes out as noun, verb, prepositional phrase, and so on and so forth. It turns into an extremely boring read, and if you do your research, you’ll find that the best writers are MASTERS of varying their sentence structure, including fragments, slang, and conjunctions in order to make reading flow nicely for today’s readers.

The only reason you should be repeating your sentence structure is to make an emphasis. If you want emphasis on a certain feeling, emotion, point, etc., it’s possible to repeat that sentence structure, but don’t over use it. If you must repeat your sentence structure for emphasis, stick to two sentences, as it’s enough for your brain to recognize it, but not enough for your readers to become bored of your writing.

In addition, my best advice for this is to STUDY some of your favorite writers in the age range and genre you’re writing in. Read their work and take notes. Some of your favorite sentences, paragraphs, and quotes, how are they written? What about it draws your attention? Where is the emphasis in the sentence and how are the sentences around it written to set up for your favorite lines?

3. Expository Language

One of the best ways to identify expository language is to go through your manuscript piece by piece and continue to ask yourself if your world building and narration is coming from your character or YOU! Is there a 3rd person narrator that just seems to pop up at the precise time needed to describe grandma’s wallpaper in the afternoon light? Is your narrator giving away secrets to your book before they actually happen, or after the fact? Is your reader being filled in to background information from this narrator, because they need to know the information but haven’t received it through action or dialogue yet?

If you answered “yes” to any of these, you’re including expository language where it doesn’t need to be. Even in adult manuscripts, it should be your characters voice coming through to build the world and emotions involved. It should be your character’s voice and dialogue cluing your readers in to past events and other’s feelings. You don’t need the extra narrator and descriptions. Take them all out and find a way to bring your back story, emotions, and world building in through dialogue, actions, and inner voice.

This is the classic “show, don’t tell” response that many people receive. Be aware of this, because if you master the practice of showing, rather than telling, effectively getting rid of your expository language, you have improved your writing ability ten fold!

4. Dialogue as a Purpose

I read a tweet from Writer’s Digest the other day, quoting Jordan Rosenfeld saying “Dialogue should serve a purpose, and that purpose should not be to reveal something obvious.”

How many of you state the obvious in your manuscripts? Do you clue the reader in with actions and dialogue, and then have your characters state what the reader should already know? TAKE IT OUT! It doesn’t need to be there. There is so much story to tell just in the look in someones eyes, body language, actions, and even inner voice. Why does your character need to say it?

In addition, if your character does need to say it and tell another character about something, you need to make sure that all of your characters actions support that statement and how they’re feeling about it, without fully giving the idea away. Every single word in your manuscript serves a purpose, and if you find dialogue that doesn’t serve a purpose, is placed in there as a useless filler, is put in there to make a reader laugh, is stating the obvious or repeating something the reader already knows, take it out. It doesn’t need to be there, and I can assure you that your manuscript and writing skills will be stronger by learning to connect the two dots around it without needless dialogue.

What are your characters really trying to say? How else can they express this? Is the reader already aware of what needs to be said?

 

5. Realistic Dialogue

This gets many, many people rejections from my query box. If you have a contemporary novel and you’re not using contractions (can’t, won’t, didn’t, etc.) than you need to start using them. You should be writing dialogue and voice the same way you speak. We, as most humans, speak in slang, and to have your character not speak in slang means that you’re character isn’t realistic or relatable.

This isn’t to say that if you’re writing a historic novel, your characters can’t speak in proper, older English. Or maybe your manuscript takes place in another country where the language is broken from another character’s point of view, so you need to write your dialogue with an accent (but not too much, as it still needs to be readable!). Write it how you would hear it and understand it. Write your dialogue with thought and precision. Going back to your dialogue should be purposeful, so should every single word in your dialogue be purposefully written to be fluent, relatable, realistic, and readable.

Small tip: If you’re writing in an accent or inserting another language into your manuscript, let your readers imagination work FOR you, not against you. Your readers will naturally highlight the accent and will hear it in their minds, even if it’s lessened to a point of understanding. You don’t want your reader overworking themselves trying to figure out what your dialogue actually says in the accent. You need a comfortable in between to let your reader’s minds wander and help you. Saying a few words in another language that your readers may not understand can also help to bring a sense of culture to your manuscript. You don’t have to have them always explain these words, either. If you give enough context clues in your manuscript by having other characters react to their words or respond to them, your reader should be able to figure it out without much help. If they really want to know what the word is, it means they’re invested and they’ll look it up.

A few questions for your as you go through your manuscript: Is this how I or my character would say this line? If they’re speaking differently than the other characters, is there a reason for it? Is my accent so overdone that my readers can’t understand what the character is really trying to say? Are they speaking in slang and fragments like I do? What slang and fragments would have been used by my character during this time period?

6. Realistic Character Actions

This will be explained more in my next post about larger ideas, but it’s important to take note of this while addressing your dialogue as well. As writers, we have a tendency to insert random dialogue or plot points that don’t actually make sense to our readers, but they make sense in our heads. Because we plan all of this out and think to ourselves, “YES! My problems are solved! I know how to make my story work!” When in fact, you’re just confusing your reader by finding the easiest way out, rather than making your actions, dialogue, and voice realistic.

This is tough because sometimes it takes another person to point out the unrealistic adventures we put our characters through, but it can be spotted with time and care. My best advice is to list out your characters and physically write down keywords and information about them. You want to put down adjectives to describe them, and thoroughly understand how they would probably react to different situations, including what would drive that reaction. Make your list, and use it to help go through your manuscript piece by piece.

On a smaller scale, this will help you determine whether your dialogue is natural. If you have a character that’s freaking out and screaming, upset because her husband cheated on her, but the keywords you have for her are introverted, shy, dependent, etc., she wouldn’t be yelling at him. She’d probably be sitting there crying, thinking to herself what she’s going to do now and whether or not she can forgive him. And if she does leave him, what is driving that motivation and how can you make it apparent to your readers?

When your readers don’t know your characters’ drives, as well as the how and why to what they’re saying and how they’re feeling, they can’t relate to your characters, and your writing begins to feel unnatural. This is where you lose your readers because we can’t connect to your characters on an emotional level.

In addition to this, I highly, HIGHLY recommend people watching. If you know some people who are introverted or extroverted, or maybe you based your characters determination off someone, it never hurts to ask them questions about what they think they would do in certain situations. Or maybe you just want to observe them in real life, interacting with their friends. Take notes of how people respond to different situations, act things out with your friends, ask them questions. It may feel odd at first, but the more responses you receive, the better understanding you will have for your characters.

Go through your plot points and dialogue with the list and research you created. Are your characters acting naturally according to your list? Are they reacting in a way that feels true to them, rather than to you? Are they speaking in a way that feels true to their core drives? What small body instances of body language can you place into your manuscript to make these characters and their reactions feel real and alive?

7. Passive Voice

Most people I tell this to don’t understand how to recognize passive voice, and rather than going into too much detail, I’m going to send you all to Grammarly with a fun way of identifying it. Go read up on Rebecca Johnson and Kimberly Joki’s fun way of identifying and replacing passive voice here.

Folks, Passive voice is BAD. We don’t want passive voice, as it makes for boring sentences and a not-so-active character, as well as a not-so-involved reader. You can even tell in the sentences that Kimberly uses as examples: one sentence is obviously more interesting and engaging than the other. This is because of the noun and subject placement. Make sure that your characters are actively participating in their own stories!

8. Pacing

Last, but definitely not least, a small section of pacing. Again, this is another topic that I will touch on more in my next blog post about larger editing techniques, but this is important in your first pages, so I wanted to touch on it a bit here.

Pacing is difficult, and it’s most difficult because you, as the writer, know everything there is to know about your story. You know the backgrounds, stories, action, etc., that everyone else may not know yet. Being all knowledgeable makes writing at a good pace difficult because most of the time, you either want to slow down and get to the gritty part of your characters’ emotions, or you want to bring on the action and the tension.

The best way I know how to double check your pacing is by literally doing a chapter and plot diagram outline.

This is a great example of a plot diagram! Make sure your story and tension follows this arc. This is even simplified and comes with boxes you can easily fill in on your own to determine if your climax, conflict, rising action, etc., are in the right place for your manuscript.

Chapter outlines are done differently by every person, but I highly suggest that you get as specific as possible in your chapter outlines. These outlines are what will enable you to pick out your greatest moments of tension, emotion, and forward movement. What I would do as a writer is actually go through your character outline and highlight the chapters or instances where you are building tension and asking questions. Then go through and star, or maybe highlight in a different color, where you slow down and get to the emotional turmoil and character development. And finally, go through and highlight your scenes of action (especially for high fantasy and heavy action stories!).

Are your colors/markers cyclic? Are they spread out? Are they consistent throughout the entirety of your manuscript? Do they coincide with the plot diagram?

Side note: pacing is VERY IMPORTANT in your beginning pages, so make sure you take note of how much background information you’re showing your reader, what emotions you’re showing your reader and how much these emotions pull you in. Take into consideration all of the above elements, and send your beginning out to beta readers and CP’s in order to make sure that you’re starting in just the right place. Beginnings are so difficult to get the pacing just right, so make sure you get other opinions!


The guidelines above are smaller details to take notice of in the brunt of your manuscript, and I will be sure to post a more general “How to Edit” post that deals with pacing, plot, characters, conflict, etc. to cover the more general ideas that will be needed to help with large edits on your manuscript. The edits above, however, can be especially useful in line edits and your first few pages. Please feel free to leave any questions, comments, tips, etc., in the comments below! I’m sure other readers and writers will get even more value from your ideas and experiences, should you choose to share them with us. =)

I’d also love your feedback! Was this helpful? What else would you like to know about editing? What worked for you and what didn’t work for you?

Thank you all for your time, and best of luck in your writing adventures!

kellysig

Team Gryffindor Welcome Post! (Plus my sign-up Post)

 

HELLO and WELCOME my fellow Team Gryffindors! (If you are not team Gryffindor, that is ok! Welcome to you as well!) As Head Girl of the Gryffindor house for this challenge I want to take a moment to let you know I am here for any questions you may have, concerns that pop up, or if you just want a fellow Harry Potter fan to chat with! Also as Head Girl, I will be the Gryffindor’s host to turn in all points to on November 12th!

If you are interested  and have not yet signed up, feel free to head over to my other post and get all the info! Here is a link.

JUST A LITTLE ABOUT ME:

My name is Lauren. *waves* I am a book dragon, coffee drinker, somewhat artist, photographer, sometimes gamer, all time dreamer, hopeful writer, and Harry Potter fanatic! I mainly read Fantasy, but will read pretty much anything. I’m beyond excited to have everyone join us for this reading challenge! When Alex told me this idea in September, I knew it was going to be amazing! We are lucky to have Kelsey and Erica join us! This is my first time co-hosting a reading challenge, and I can’t think of a better challenge to start with! If you ever want to chat, you can find me on Twitter: @Betweendpages or Instagram: Between_D_Pages.

HOUSE CUP CHALLENGE:

I may be a co-host and Head Girl, but I can’t pass up on this fun! So to join in I’m going to add my sign-up post here!

Name: Lauren @BetweenDpages
Hogwarts House: Gryffindor!
Wand Type: Laurel Wood and Dragon Heartstring
Pet: I wish I could take my dog Luna (yes, she is named after Luna Lovegood!) But apparently witches never seem to have dogs, and I’m allergic to cats so I’m going with OWL!
Favorite Subject: Transfiguration! (I actually had a hard time picking between Trans and Charms! But Transfiguration seems like it would be a little more fun to learn!)
Favorite Professor: Professor McGonagall. (It was between her and Lupin! I love them both so much, but McGonagall’s sass won over Lupin’s sweetness!)

ACCIO BOOKS!

Coming up with a TBR for anything is actually kind of hard for me. I am a big mood reader, so picking books in advance can be tricky. I also added an additional challenge to myself by trying to only pick books I owned.  BUT I DID IT!! To try and give myself a little room to work with I picked books for the main challenge, plus a book for every bonus challenge! I seriously doubt I will get them all read during this challenge, but at least I have a plan!

I don’t have these in any order, so I’m just going to list the 7 books I picked for my main challenge:

Year One-Year Seven:

-Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets: Illustrated Edition
-Dead House
-The Girl Who Drank The Moon
-The Darkest Part of the Forest
-Heart of Betrayal
-Anna and the French Kiss
-This Song Will Save Your Life

Bonus Challenges:

Gryffindor: Read a book with an epic hero/heroine (HP and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Hufflepuff: Read a book that contains a strong friendship (HP and the Goblet of Fire)
Ravenclaw: Read a book that revolves around a mystery (The Killing Jar)
Slytherin: Read a book set in a dystopian world (Never Fade)
AstronomyClass: Read a book set in outer space (These Broken Stars)
Care of Magical Creatures: Read a book that features an animal or magical/mythical creature (The Coldest Girl in Coldtown)
Tri-Wizard Tournament: Read a book that includes a competition (Caraval)
Occlumency: Read a book about a character with magical abilities or superpowers (Fate of Flames)
Death Eater: Read a book told from the POV of a villain (Vicious)
Platform 9 3/4: Read a book that features travel (Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour)
Time Turner: Read a book set in the future or past (Ready, Player, One)
Fantastic Beasts: Read a spin-off to a beloved series (Fairest)
Dumbledore’s Army: Buddy-read a book with a friend or group (The Girl Who Chased the Moon, and Uprooted)
A LITTLE STUCK?
Picking books can be a little difficult so here are a few I would recommend if you have not already read them!
-Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson
-A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray
-Fear the Drowning Deep by Sarah Glenn Marsh
-The Orphan Queen by Jodi Meadows
-My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand
-The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken
-Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers
-Air Awakens by Elise Kova
-Hounded by Devin Hearne
-When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandy Menon
There is also a list on Bustle for Gryffindor reads. They also have the other houses which might give you ideas. You can go here for that list!
Just a reminder:
Sign-ups close Saturday night, October 14th. Make sure to have your post linked with one of the host before Saturday night! If you are not a blogger, please be sure to complete your sign-up Twitter post, Instagram post, or Youtube video!
There will be a kick-off Twitter chat Sunday, October 15th @8:00p.m. EST! Please try to join us if you can! This is a great time to meet fellow challengers and get to know everyone who is participating! The hosts will also be taking time during the chat to answer questions you may have!
We are excited to have you and hope to see you all at the chat Sunday!
laurensig

Reading Challenge Sign Up!

WELCOME TO THE HOUSE CUP READING CHALLENGE!!! My fellow co-hosts, Alex of Book Daisy Reviews, Kelsey of Kelsey’s Cluttered Bookshelf, and Erica of Escape Under the Cover, are excited to invite our fellow book readers and Harry Potter fans on an adventure as we tackle our TBRs! Now let’s get to the fun part…

WHAT IS THE HOUSE CUP READING CHALLENGE?

The House Cup Reading Challenge runs from Sunday, October 15, to Sunday, November 12. During this challenge, you will progress from a first-year to seventh-year Hogwarts student by completing seven books on your TBR list. In addition to the main challenge, you will have opportunities to earn even more points by participating in the themed bonus challenges and tweeting with the challenge hashtag on Twitter. But more on that later!

HOW THE CHALLENGE WORKS

First, you’ll need to choose your Hogwarts house. During the challenge, you’ll not only be earning points for yourself but for your Hogwarts house as well. At the end of the challenge, each reader should report their points to their house’s Head Girl:
Gryffindor: Lauren @BetweenDPages
Hufflepuff: Kelsey @Kelsenator
Ravenclaw: Alex @booksydaisy
Slytherin: Erica @slychica08
Here’s how we’re determining the winners:
 4 Individual House Winners
One winner will be chosen from each of the four Hogwarts houses. The person who earns the most points for their house will receive:
$5 Starbucks gift card and some HP-themed goodies (stickers, bookmarks, etc.)
1 House Cup Grand Prize Winner
Here’s where the House Cup challenge really comes into play! At the end of the challenge, we will randomly select one grand prize winner from the Hogwarts houses with the most points overall. This lucky winner will receive:
A Harry Potter Funko Pop figure and a $25 giftcard to Barnes and Noble
**In the case of an international winner, that person will receive an e-gift card to The Book Depository.** 
**PLEASE NOTE: Because we will need winners to provide us with their addresses in order to send out the prizes, you must be 18 years or older to be eligible to win.**

Challenge Events

To kick off the challenge, we’ll be hosting a Twitter chat starting at 8:00 p.m. EST to give everybody a chance to introduce themselves, talk about the competition, and answer some Harry Potter trivia questions. Be sure to follow along with the #housecupreadingchallenge hashtag.
At the end of the challenge, we’ll also be hosting a watch-along of one of the Harry Potter movies (to be decided via Twitter poll). We’ll have more details about this as we get closer to the end of the challenge.

CHALLENGE CATAGORIES AND POINT BREAKDOWN

Main Challenge (20 points each)

Not everyone likes to be confined to a specific category, so we’ve decided that all books for the main challenge are reader’s choice. This means you can pick any book off your TBR list to count toward the main challenge!
First Year: reader’s choice
Second Year: reader’s choice
Third Year: reader’s choice
Fourth Year: reader’s choice
Fifth Year: reader’s choice
Sixth Year: reader’s choice
Seventh Year: reader’s choice

Bonus Challenges (10 points each)

For those who like categories to help narrow down their reading choices, here are thirteen bonus challenges to choose from. However, books you read for the bonus challenges cannot count toward the main challenge! For example,  if you pick The Hunger Games for the Slytherin bonus challenge (read a dystopian book), you cannot also count it toward your second-year challenge.
Gryffindor: Read a book with an epic hero/heroine
Hufflepuff: Read a book that contains a strong friendship
Ravenclaw: Read a book that revolves around a mystery
Slytherin: Read a book set in a dystopian world
AstronomyClass: Read a book set in outer space
Care of Magical Creatures: Read a book that features an animal or magical/mythical creature
Tri-Wizard Tournament: Read a book that includes a competition
Occlumency: Read a book about a character with magical abilities or superpowers
Death Eater: Read a book told from the POV of a villain
Platform 9 3/4: Read a book that features travel
Time Turner: Read a book set in the future or past
Fantastic Beasts: Read a spin-off to a beloved series
Dumbledore’s Army: Buddy-read a book with a friend or group
Social Media Bonus Points
Use the hashtag #housecupreadingchallenge on Twitter to earn 1 point per tweet (limited to 20 points total).

HOW TO SIGN UP

Think you’re ready to take on the House Cup Reading Challenge? Awesome! To sign up, grab your house badge below, create a sign-up post on your blog with your challenge TBR list and, if you want, your answers to the questionnaire below. Once you’ve made your post, be sure to link it back to us using the Inlinkz widget below (or on any of my fellow co-hosts’ blogs). We await your owl no later than October 14! 😉 Happy reading!

HOGWARTS STUDENT QUESTIONNAIRE

Name:
Hogwarts House:
Wand Type:
Pet:
Favorite Subject:
Favorite Professor:

HOUSE BADGES

 

 

We can’t wait to see you on October 15 at 8:00 p.m. EST for the challenge kick-off Twitter chat!


JANE UNLIMITED Blog Tour

janeunlimited

Hello! Welcome to my stop on the Jane, Unlimited blog tour! I am so excited to be a part of this as I am a huge Kristin Cashore fan!!! In this “Choose Your Own Adventure” -esque book, there are 5 different scenarios and we get follow Jane on each path.  I’ve attempted to do my best in providing a mood board for each one.

THE MISSING MASTERPIECE

STORY 1

LIES WITHOUT BORDERS

story 2

IN WHICH SOMEONE LOSES A SOUL

story 3

JANE, UNLIMITED

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THE STRAYHOUND, THE GIRL AND THE PAINTING

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janecoverJANE, UNLIMITED

The highly anticipated standalone from the award-winning, New York Times bestselling author of the Graceling Realm series—a kaleidoscopic novel about grief, adventure, storytelling, and finding yourself in a world of seemingly infinite choices.

Jane has lived an ordinary life, raised by her aunt Magnolia—an adjunct professor and deep sea photographer. Jane counted on Magnolia to make the world feel expansive and to turn life into an adventure. But Aunt Magnolia was lost a few months ago in Antarctica on one of her expeditions.

Now, with no direction, a year out of high school, and obsessed with making umbrellas that look like her own dreams (but mostly just mourning her aunt), she is easily swept away by Kiran Thrash—a glamorous, capricious acquaintance who shows up and asks Jane to accompany her to a gala at her family’s island mansion called Tu Reviens.

Jane remembers her aunt telling her: “If anyone ever invites to you to Tu Reviens, promise me that you’ll go.” With nothing but a trunkful of umbrella parts to her name, Jane ventures out to the Thrash estate. Then her story takes a turn, or rather, five turns. What Jane doesn’t know is that Tu Reviens will offer her choices that can ultimately determine the course of her untethered life. But at Tu Reviens, every choice comes with a reward, or a price.

Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Indiebound | Book Depository


kristinAbout Kristin

Kristin Cashore grew up in the northeast Pennsylvania countryside as the second of four daughters. She received a bachelor’s degree from Williams College and a master’s from the Center for the Study of Children’s Literature at Simmons College, and she has worked as a dog runner, a packer in a candy factory, an editorial assistant, a legal assistant, and a freelance writer. She has lived in many places (including Sydney, New York City, Boston, London, Austin, and Jacksonville, Florida), and she currently lives in the Boston area. Her epic fantasy novels set in the Graceling Realm–GracelingFire, and Bitterblue–have won many awards and much high praise, including picks as ALA Best Books for Young Adults, School Library Journal Best Book of the Year, Booklist Editors Choice, and Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year. In addition, Graceling was shortlisted for the William C. Morris Debut Award and Fire is an Amelia Elizabeth Walden Book Award Winner.

GIVEAWAY LEGAL

Enter for a chance to be one (1) of three (3) winners to receive a hardcover copy of Jane, Unlimited by Kristin Cashore. (ARV: $18.99 each).
NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Enter between 12:00 AM Eastern Time on September 11, 2017 and 12:00 AM on October 9, 2017.  Open to residents of the fifty United States and the District of Columbia who are 13 and older. Winners will be selected at random on or about October 11, 2017. Odds of winning depend on number of eligible entries received. Void where prohibited or restricted by law.

ENTER THE GIVEAWAY

Be sure to check out the rest of the tour!

SCHEDULE:
 
Week One:
September 11 – Alexa Loves Books – Bookish Style Files
September 11 – The Bookiemoji – Review
September 12 – Tales of the Ravenous Reader – Playlist
September 12 – Wandering Bark Books – Review
September 13 – Sarcasm & Lemons – Umbrellas Jane Would Make for YA Characters
September 13 – Arctic Books – Review
September 14 – Book Nerd Addicts – Review
September 14 – In Wonderland
September 15 – YA Book Central – Excerpt
September 15 – My Friends are Fiction – Promo
 
Week Two:
September 18 – YA Bibliophile – Review
September 18 – Across the Words – Umbrellas, A History
September 19 – The Eater of Books! – Mood Board
September 19 – NovelKnight
September 20 – Great Imaginations – Review
September 20 – The Wednesday Blog for Books – Review
September 21 – Icey BooksJane, Unlimited Quote Candy
September 21 – A Page With a View – Favorite Quotes
September 22 – A Thousand Books to Read – Review
September 22 – BookCrushin – Review
 
Week Three:
September 25 – Teen Librarian Toolbox
September 25 – The Young Folks – 10 Reasons to Read Jane, Unlimited
September 26 – Live Love Read – A Mood Board for Every Story
September 26 – No BS Book Reviews – Review
September 27Andi’s ABCs
September 27The Novel Hermit
September 28Paper Trail YA – Review
September 28Swoony Boys PodcastJane, Unlimited Fan Cast
September 29I Am A Reader
September 29Fiction Fare – Review
 
Week Four:
October 2Don’t Fold the Page
October 2Rants and Raves of a Bibliophile – Characters & Tea
October 3MuggleNet – Review
October 3Xpresso Reads – Top 10 Awesome Umbrellas
October 4The Book Wars – Review
October 4Once Upon a Twilight – Guess the Story in GIFs
October 5Mundie Moms – Review
October 5YA Romantics – Review & Quiz
October 6Bookworm Everlasting – Book Photography
October 6Here’s to Happy Endings – Bookish Style Board

 

WARCROSS Blog Tour: Event Recap & Dream Cast

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I’m so excited to be a part of the Warcross blog tour! I was so excited to find out Marie Lu was coming to Wellesley Books this month that I thought I’d do a recap of the book event I attended last night and a little dream casting.

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The one time I wish I owned Snapchat

I was thrilled to find out local author, Malinda Lo would be joining Marie Lu at Wellesley Books last night.  It was probably the first time I’d ever got to attend a book event where both authors were Chinese and I think that is what made it extra special.

Both Marie and Malinda’s latest books are so vastly different than their previous titles, it was fascinating to learn why they chose tell that particular story.  Marie stated amid writing The Rose Societ, which happens to be her darkest story written, she began to feel the effects of her story and wanted to write something happier.  Warcross was her “Happy Story”, which Malinda immediately questioned.  We learn right from the beginning Emika is still coping with a big loss in her life.

Malinda Lo decided to write A Line in the Dark after a conversation with her editor about reading The Secret Place (?) by Tana French.  It was then she thought about writing a mystery. Marie and Malinda came up with the comp “Gone Girl meets Mean Girls”.

When asked about setting the book in Tokyo, Marie explained she did visit Tokoyo last year to do some “research” and eat her way through Japan with fellow author Amie Kaufman. Originally Marie wrote Warcross from the perspective of a girl who was from Tokyo, but felt she wasn’t qualified to write it that way.  Instead Marie chose to write Emika’s experience going from New York to Tokoyo as a tourist, just like she had.

Both ladies have different approaches to drafting a new book.  For Malinda, she often starts off not knowing what she’s doing, but after working with the idea, she eventually figures it out.  Marie on the other hand is a pantser and wants to be an outliner, so she tries to write an outline for every book. However she always gets off track, but not so much because she still follows the major plot points.

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For Marie and Malinda, Warcross and A Line in the Dark is the first time either of them feature a Chinese American main character.  Throughout their careers both women have been inching forward to put Asian characters in their books.  Though why did it take so long to write a Chinese American character?

They began to explain that many years ago, in the industry publishers would could only pick 1 story featuring a POC and 1 LGBTQ story.  So at the beginning Marie felt that she had to make a choice between getting her career off the ground with no POCs or risk not getting a book deal if she had an Asian MC.  At the time when she made this decision not to feature a POC, it was a way of protecting herself. She did wish she were a little braver and took the risk.

As for Malinda, she wrote all of her books for herself, so all of her characters were queer women. However she also chose not to feature a POC because she felt like she couldn’t add more her queer characters. Although she didn’t want to narrow her audience by making Ash queer and Asian, in Malinda’s mind Ash was Asian it just wasn’t on the page. As for Huntress, with the story inspired by Asian culture, Malinda wove in details that hinted to the characters being Asian, but doesn’t explicitly say it.

 

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I am so glad I was able to attended the amazing event at Wellesley books!! Both Marie and Malinda are so inspirational! I need more events like theirs honestly.


Dreamcast

Switching gears for a little dream casting! The only reason why I started to agonize for HOURS deciding who would portray Emika and Hideo was the fact I had an actor in mind as I read about Emika’s father… OF ALL PEOPLE!  I also came up with an actor for Asher and then I realized it’s super late and I need to go to bed.

 

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Ellen Wong as Emika
Lucas Till as Asher
Jun Matsumoto as Hideo
Godfrey Gao as Emika’s Dad


9780399547966

Warcross by Marie Lu
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: September 12, 2017

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Marie Lu—when a game called Warcross takes the world by storm, one girl hacks her way into its dangerous depths.

For the millions who log in every day, Warcross isn’t just a game—it’s a way of life. The obsession started ten years ago and its fan base now spans the globe, some eager to escape from reality and others hoping to make a profit. Struggling to make ends meet, teenage hacker Emika Chen works as a bounty hunter, tracking down Warcross players who bet on the game illegally. But the bounty-hunting world is a competitive one, and survival has not been easy. To make some quick cash, Emika takes a risk and hacks into the opening game of the international Warcross Championships—only to accidentally glitch herself into the action and become an overnight sensation.

Convinced she’s going to be arrested, Emika is shocked when instead she gets a call from the game’s creator, the elusive young billionaire Hideo Tanaka, with an irresistible offer. He needs a spy on the inside of this year’s tournament in order to uncover a security problem . . . and he wants Emika for the job. With no time to lose, Emika’s whisked off to Tokyo and thrust into a world of fame and fortune that she’s only dreamed of. But soon her investigation uncovers a sinister plot, with major consequences for the entire Warcross empire.

In this sci-fi thriller, #1 New York Times bestselling author Marie Lu conjures an immersive, exhilarating world where choosing who to trust may be the biggest gamble of all.

Goodreads | Book Depository | Amazon | Barnes and Noble | IndieBound


223095_lu_marie(1)About Marie Lu

Marie Lu is the author of the #1 New York Times bestselling series The Young Elites, as well as the blockbuster bestselling Legend series. She graduated from the University of Southern California and jumped into the video game industry as an artist. Now a full-time writer, she spends her spare time reading, drawing, playing games, and getting stuck in traffic. She lives in Los Angeles, California, with one husband, one Chihuahua mix, and one Pembroke Welsh corgi.


Giveaway

Thanks to Penguin Random House, you can enter for a chance to be one (1) of three (3) grand prize winners of a WARCROSS prize set (including hardcover of Warcross, shirt, keychain, and postcard). (ARV: $18.99 each).
NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Enter between 12:00 AM Eastern Time on September 4, 2017 and 12:00 AM on September 29, 2017. Open to residents of the fifty United States and the District of Columbia who are 13 and older. Winners will be selected at random on or about October 2, 2017. Odds of winning depend on number of eligible entries received. Void where prohibited or restricted by law.

ENTER HERE!

 

 

Don’t forget to check out the rest of the blog tour!

September 4 – The Reading Nook Reviews – Review
September 5 – Bookiemoji – Book Photography
September 6 – Fiction Fare – Review
September 7 – BookCrushin – Review
September 8 – The Fandom – Author Q&A
September 11 – Lost in Lit – Book Photography
September 12 – Alexa Loves Books – Author Guest Post | Marie’s Favorite Video Games
September 13 – Little Lillie Reads – Review
September 14 – YA Wednesdays
September 15 – Live Love Read
September 18 – Adventures of a Book Junkie – 5 Reasons to Read Warcross
September 19 – The Young Folks – Review
September 20 – Once Upon a Twilight – Guess the Story in GIFs
September 21 – Arctic Books – Warcross Mood Board
September 22 – Book Nerd Addicts – Author Q&A
September 25 – Tales of the Ravenous Reader – Author Q&A + Event Recap
September 26 –Mundie Moms – Favorite Quotes
September 27 – YA Bibliophile – Review
September 28 – Icey Books – Warcross Quote Candy
September 29 – Super Space Chick – Review & Favorite Video Games

 

MelissaSig