Tag Archives: Pau’s Castles

Interactive Book Reviews for Readers and Authors

17 May

Shannon, here, for an announcement. Minutes Before Sunset was featured on Friday Fiction. You can read an 1,000 word excerpt by clicking here. The scene happens between Jessica and Eric, and it’s from a chapter told from Jessica’s perspective.

Now an introduction. Pau Castillo from Pau’s Castles has written a wonderful post about her technique behind her interactive book reviews. I believe this post is great for readers and authors, especially book bloggers who might be considering a new aspect to add to their websites. Using her interactive method allows readers to be both entertained and engaged while reading and reviewing. As an author, I highly recommend her reviews – but check her out for yourself. She’s stellar! Thank you for blogging here today, Pau.

Good day to all avid followers and readers of the lovely author, Shannon A. Thompson! My name is Pau, a 20-year-old blogger from the Philippines and I’m here to share you how I do my book reviews.

Before, I used to think the way I do my reviews is… quite typical. Or rather, I’ve never thought highly of it. I thought it was just right to do the things I do but, apparently, I’ve gotten some praises from other authors because of it. They appreciated my “notes for authors”.

So what are notes for authors? 

Well, as the phrase claims, it’s my portion of my review post that contains my notes for authors. Usually, it contains spoilers. Lots and lots of spoilers. Which is why it’s usually just for authors and not readers most especially if they haven’t read the book yet.

screenshot.jpeg

Here’s a screenshot of my notes portion from my review for Shannon’s Seconds Before Sunrise.

notebook

This photo is a photo I tweeted to Shannon to show her my current notes progress for her book. I was barely halfway and I had these much thoughts already! The notes jotted down here can be as random as “Oh gosh Eric is a lovely character! Can I marry him?”

The notes portion basically contains my thoughts as I read the novel. Usually, I take note of the pace, character development, plot development, plot twists, fan-girl moments (especially when I’m crushing over a character. In Seconds Before Sunrise‘s case, Eric Welborn) and, sometimes, grammar and redundancies. English is not exactly my first language so grammar is not usually something I deeply look into. As for ARCs, I also take note of possible typographical errors.

jas

Here’s a screen cap of Jasmine Carolina’s comment about my review. I greatly appreciated this one because, although I became a little technical with my notes, she still loved the review. Jasmine Carolina recently published her first novel called Losing Me, the first book of a trilogy. It was a great novel!

sat

Lastly, other than the notebook author notes, I also tend to live tweet to authors (with minimal or no spoilers at all) while reading their works. I personally like them to feel my actual emotions at the very moment I’m feeling them. Shannon and another author named Amber Skye Forbes (author of When Stars Die) loved the live updates.

Personal tip and conclusion

So basically, that’s it! For attempting book bloggers out there, you might want to consider jotting down your thoughts while reading a book and if you have a twitter account, you might want to live-update as well. It gives the authors the satisfaction and joy of knowing how we, the readers, truly felt while reading something they’ve surely worked hard on.

Thank you for reading!

——-

More about the blogger

Photo from Pau’s Castles

Photo from Pau’s Castles

Pau is a 20-year-old blogger from the Philippines. Her blog is mostly filled with book reviews but, once in a while, she inserts some random stuff like her life as a media student, the places she discovered, and the restaurants / food stalls that forever scarred her taste buds… in a good way. She is currently a fourth year college student taking up Advertising which is a course commonly known as a zombie virus in the world of her school. During her free time, she is mostly stuck with a book or attempting to be an artist by doing calligraphy.

You can contact her via:

Twitter: @pauscastles

Instagram: @pauscastles

Blog: http://pauscastles.wordpress.com

Email: pauscastles@gmail.com

My Wonderful, Amazing, and Talented Guest Bloggers

15 May

ShannonAThompson.com officially hit 16,000 followers! 

6a00e54ef3aa3c88330154373c5ff2970c

These are purple periwinkles from http://www.democratdad.com. These little flowers will be symbolic in my upcoming novel, Take Me Tomorrow. This picture is also symbolic to how grateful I am to be continuing to grow with everyone. Thank you for supporting me. Thank you for growing with me. And thank you for believing in me. My work is a piece of my soul, and I plan to share as many pieces as I can. These flowers show a sliver that will soon be exposed. Thank you for embracing it. You are as beautiful as how much these flowers mean to me. I also added an Extras page for all readers as a special “thank you.” I hope you enjoy checking it out as I release more information.

Over the next two weeks, I am signing out of ShannonAThompson.com. But don’t worry! I am not leaving without a plan. Six, wonderfully talented writers will be taking over ShannonAThompson.com to discuss writing and reading. The variety is great, and every post is entertaining – Seriously. I already read them ;] – and I hope you enjoy connecting with the writers as much as I have enjoyed knowing them.

Before I introduce them though, keep in mind that all announcements related to ShannonAThompson.com will be here – separated from the post at the top – and the announcements are written by me, and they are unrelated to the guest blogger. Here is one for today:

The Literary Syndicate interviewed me during a segment called “Papi Talk!” We discussed MANY topics I have never talked about before – including my intentions behind character and unfinished projects – but I also released my first excerpt from Take Me Tomorrow, so check it out by clicking here.

Now onto the introductions:

Below, I have included a schedule of guest bloggers you will be reading from for the next two weeks. My brother is getting married, and Shannon needs a little vacation (because she’s back to talking in the 3rd person.) That being said, these bloggers are fantastic writers, and every post relates to reading or writing (not to mention that every post is fantastic!) I’m not giving away the topics they are writing about, but I am introducing all of them today. Please visit their websites – you will both enjoy their work and connecting with them because every single one of them is a delight.

But here’s who you have to look forward to:

May 17: Pau’s Castles

Photo from Pau’s Castles

Photo from Pau’s Castles

Pau Castillo is from Pau’s Castles – you might recognize her from a few posts I’ve shared. Her book reviews are entertaining, informative, and – even more amazing – interactive. She really knows how to befriend her readers and captivate her audience.

From her website, Pau introduces herself: “My name is Pau and words are my best friends. I love discovering new things and posting about my life experiences in this site. Also, I love books. I love paranormal stuff. I love things that go beyond what’s normal. I’m a little weird, but I guess you’ll get used to it.

May 19: Misha Burnett

Misha Burnett is the author of Catskinner’s Book and Cannibal Hearts, science fiction/urban fantasy novels. Here’s an introduction from his website, “I am hideously excited and tremendously frustrated by the experience of being a self-published author.  There is so much I have learned since I first launched Catskinner into the world in July of 2012, and the more I learn the more I realize what I don’t know.”

Photo from Mishaburnett.wordpress.com

Photo from Mishaburnett.wordpress.com

May 21: Hanne Arts

Hanne Arts is a seventeen-year old budding writer, and she’s already spreading her name about in the publishing world. Last year, she got second place in a short story competition in Budapest, and she’s currently working on several pieces for publication. From her website, she states, “I started writing when I was about seven years old. I read a lot and am fascinated by interesting and original stories, which is why I decided to become one of the authors making those stories! I have not yet been published, but am hoping to do so in the near future.”

Hanne Arts

Hanne Arts

Ron Estrada

Ron Estrada

May 23: 8.187

8.187 is a website run by Ron Estrada. Writer, husband, dad, and contributor to @Todays_Author, Ron Estrada shares his short essays that “contemplate the order and clutter, thrust and drift of the human condition in this great, big, hopeful world.”

May 25: Jonas Lee’s Imaginarium

Jonas Lee, photo provided by Jonas Lee

Jonas Lee, photo provided by Jonas Lee

Written by Jonas Lee, this website centers on the importance of imagination and the discovery of creativity. Here is an excerpt from his website: “I live near the Black Hills in South Dakota (the States). I cannot stop eating peanut M & M’s to save my life or waistline if they are near me. I love to laugh, read new ideas, hang out with friends and enjoy things I’ve never experienced before. I have a strange addiction to watching DubStep Dancers on YouTube and I can shamefully quote almost every line from the movie Clue.”

May 27: Ryan Attard

bdedebgf

Ryan Attard

Ryan Attard, author of Firstborn and upcoming Birthright, has appeared on my website before. If you don’t know him, I hope you’ll take the time to check out his books (because laughter will ensue.) He is the host of the podcast – The Lurking Voice – and he also deemed me AEC’s Cognitive Operations Overlord. It’s safe to say that you are not safe at all when visiting his website, but you will have a good time.

Here’s an excerpt from his podcast: “The Lurking Voice is the journey of author Ryan Attard as he explores the world around him from an artistic perspective, including books, movies and music as well as the tropes of his craft. Expect reviews, funny commentary and the occasional rant.”

May 29

I am back – with Website Wonders and May’s Ketchup.

But until then, I hope you enjoy what these insightful writers have to say. I know I sure did.

~SAT

March Ketchup

30 Mar

Seeing as this is my second “Ketchup” post ever, I am amazed by how much I am falling in love with these. It’s a lot of fun to go back to analyze stats in order to figure out what you all found decided was the most popular. This helps me understand you all, and I think it also shows other bloggers what goes on behind the scenes here at ShannonAThompson.com. I’ll slowly be adding in more categories as I realize what will be the most helpful to everyone! Here is what I’m sharing this month: my big moments, top three blog posts, the one blog post I wish received more views, the rest of the blog posts, top referrer other than search engines, top searched term, and gains in followers, likes, and shares. I also included every website who has helped me this month.

Big Moments:

currentSeconds Before Sunrise released on March 27th, which is the moment every writer looks forward to, but after the release party, something amazing happened! My novels skyrocketed into the top 1,000 books in the Kindle Store. Your growing support is astounding, and I cannot wait to continue into the future with my next novels, including “Death Before Daylight” (book 3 of The Timely Death Trilogy.) If you want to start now, here’s a link to Minutes Before Sunset and Seconds Before Sunrise.

Other big moments included actress, dancer, and director, Gracie Dzienny tweeting about my novels. I also found out my poem will be published in the first edition of LaLuna Magazine, so look out for more news on that coming in April.

twomom

 Top Three Blog Posts:

1. Oh, yes. I Did Record a Video: I guess this means that I need to post more videos on my YouTube channel. I invited you to my launch party in all my nervous glory.

2. What’s Your Shade Name? And other Author Announcements: The shade name generator was possibly the most fun I’ve had in a long time. It’s also nice to know you all are interested in reading about my author life!

3. My Home Away From Home: This was a post I was nominated for, and I spoke about my favorite place to go. The post was also the anniversary of my mother’s death, and I shared how cemeteries bring me peace, even to this day.

The Post I Wish Got More Views:

Writing Tips: The Five Senses: This post actually got a lot of views, but I spent more time organizing and writing this blog post than the others. I analyze how to include the five senses in a novel, but I also ranked what I and other writers believed to be the easiest to the hardest sense to include. After that, I showed tallies from my own novels to display if my original thoughts were correct or not. I still believe this prompt is a fantastic (yes, time consuming but fantastic) prompt for all writers to try.

nomakep

Other Blog Posts: 

Below are the other blog posts I haven’t mentioned yet. They are organized into categories.

Writing:

My Writing Process Blog Tour: Nominated by Dan Thompson, I explained my writing process.

Why I Am Most Nervous About the Second Book of a Trilogy: Middle novels are often seen as transitional novels, and I fought that – hard.

What Changes from First Draft to Publication: I share my personal experiences in editing.

The After Party: The day after the release of Seconds Before Sunrise.

Reading:

The Controversy of Rating and Reviewing Novels: there’s a lot of argument going on between readers and writers. I discussed a few of the most common ones.

 So You Want to be a Book Blogger: Tips for setting up your book reviewing website.

Is that Novel REALLY Dystopian? How Market Trends Affect Incorrect Labeling: Novels are often mislabeled on purpose due to marketing strategies.

My top referrer other than search engines was my Facebook page.

My top referrer other than search engines was my Facebook page.

Other:

No Makeup Selfie Campaign for Cancer Research: I always take time to participate in important events like this.

Guest Post: The Passion – she is contagious: author, Sorin Suciu blogged about his passions.

The Oscars: Who I Want to Win This Year: I have to do fun posts every now and then.

And last, but definitely not least, I want to thank the websites who supported me this month by reviewing my novels, interviewing me, and featuring my work during this crazy fun month:

Reviewers: Fantasy is More FunLife With No PlotJust A Third Cultured KidThe Modest VergeWrite Out LoudA Reader’s ReviewCoffee Shop ReaderEnnlee’s Reading CornerPau’s CastlesChris PavesicThe Novel ListPress Pause, Fast ForwardBreathe Wild FlowerMental CheesecakeLife with no PlotEndless ReadingSo Little Books, So Little TimeFantasy is more Fun, and Tamara Morning.

Interviewers: Dan Thompson, A Reader’s Review, The Urge to Write, Writing Under Fire, and Desirable Purity.

Features: BIT’N Book Promoters, Paranormal Book Club, and Fantasy is More Fun,

I picked this picture because tonight is the Full Worm Moon. (by Free Photos and Wallpapers.)

I picked this picture because tonight is the Full Worm Moon. (by Free Photos and Wallpapers.)

My Writing Process Blog Tour

10 Mar
Cyclops Bogart

Cyclops Bogart

Lots of announcements to share before I begin today’s blog post! As we near the release date of Seconds Before Sunrise (17 days to be exact), I am gathering so much support from lovely readers and writers that I want to share. So thank you to everyone. The people below, though, get an extra thanks today from Cyclops kitty.

Since Minutes Before Sunset is the first novel, I will share this untypical review by Tamara Morning, “Not only is the setting riveting and unique, but the characters are compelling, a combination sure to transport the reader to this magical world.”

Now that you’re up-to-date on the first book, you should check out the two latest reviews of Seconds Before Sunrise: (two?! Yes, two! ::excited dance::)

While Chris Pavesic wrote, “Thompson has produced an enjoyable story where the characters continue to grow and evolve. After reading the first two parts of the trilogy, I cannot wait for the next to appear!”, Pau’s Castle was living tweeting her incontrollable turmoil:

1014111_652689224778262_1129706442_n

By clicking the links, you can read their entire review, but I must warn you of spoilers.

I also wanted to let you know that The Timely Death Trilogy hit 100 ratings on Goodreads with an average rating of 4.47 stars. Oh, the delight.

1688930_653086668071851_1032839365_n

Whew. These announcements are getting out of hand (but any good party does), so I am continuing forth with today’s blog post:

Two weeks ago, I was nominated by author Dan Thompson to continue in “My Writing Process Blog Tour.” What is this tour? It’s just a bunch of authors gathering together (we have a tendency to do this over the internet) to share our writing process through these four questions:

  1. What Am I Working On?
  2. How Does My Work Differ From Others of its Genre?
  3. Why Do I Write What I Do?
  4. How Does My Writing Process Work?

Special thanks to Dan. His answers can be found here, my answers are below, and my nominations are just below that. Enjoy!

What Am I Working On?

Other than the fast-approaching release of Seconds Before Sunrise, I am planning on publishing the first book in a new series next. (I just turned it into AEC Stellar Publishing.) And I look forward to sharing more information on it in the future. In terms of writing, I have many more projects under works, five of which are already completely written. I also have three more almost finished. It’s just a matter of how the cards fall. (Or in this case: how the books are flipped open.)

How Does My Work Differ From Others of its Genre?

Other than writing from two perspectives, I work really hard to challenge norms in the genre as well in literature. For instance, The Timely Death Trilogy flips the archetypes of Light vs. Dark in the sense that the dark is full of the “good guys.” I also try to challenge the genre with my characters by focusing on stereotypes: ex/ Crystal is a punk who loves journalism and prom. Jessica’s relationship with Eric is also not what the genre generally goes for. She can live without him. He, on the other hand, is a little different. And showing what a boy feels in a relationship isn’t common practice in YA, paranormal romance.

Why Do I Write What I Do?

Even under severe torture, I do not believe I could satisfy an interrogator with an answer because I don’t even know why I write what I do. I don’t think there has ever been an AHA moment when picking what to write next – the stories just come…and come, and come, and come again. Sure, I have lots of scattered storyline folders on Weebo – my trusted laptop – but my writer’s heart always picks the one I will work on next like they are fated lovers who fall in love at first sight, with uncontrollable need just because they walked into the same room that day.

How Does My Writing Process Work?

I will be the first to admit to how bizarre my writing process is. I know it’s unusual, and I’m okay with that. (I wish I could remember at what point I realized it was unique, but I cannot.) Nevertheless, I will try to explain to the best of my ability by using a scene from upcoming Seconds Before Sunrise:

  • I begin with a bunch of notecards, which I will probably write on for hours throughout the night. Preferably in dim lighting, just so I struggle to read it the next day. During this time, I also create maps, picture books, and more extras, including WAY too many notebooks full of information.
  • After everything is organized, the cards get typed up to this: (note that my handwriting is too bad to show what the notecards look like) What is this? It’s dialogue. The letter represents the name. I sort of look at this like a screenwriting approach (but not really.) This is just how my brain works.

Screen Shot 2014-03-09 at 7.10.47 PM

  • After I get almost all of the dialogue and scenes figured out, I add all the prose in-between to these scenes. So it turns into this teaser below:

…TEASER ALERT…TEASER ALERT…teasing…

I shoved my head into my locker and breathed hoarsely. It was the first day of school and sitting next to Jessica was already killing me. I wanted to talk to her, hold her, be with her − anything really − but I couldn’t. If the Light realized who or what we were, she’d be killed, and there was nothing I could do except stay away.

“You okay?” Jonathon asked, his voice squeaking through the slits of my locker.

I leaned back to stare at the blind artist. I wouldn’t believe he was Pierce, a powerful shade, if I hadn’t known his identities myself.

“I’m dealing,” I grumbled, unable to keep eye contact as Jessica passed us.

She flipped her brunette curls as she playfully hit Robb McLain’s arm. Robb McLain with his sparkling teeth, gelled hair, and playboy personality was the perfect jerk.

Robb slipped his arm over Jessica’s petite shoulders, and I gripped my locker.

“I am this close to killing him.”

Jonathon chuckled. “I’d like to see that.”

“This isn’t funny.”

Jonathon’s hands struck straight up. “No. No. Of course not.” He tried to smother his laughter. “Not funny at all.”

  • And repeat. Repeat. Repeat. At some point, it becomes this – my editing process in which I cut 130,000 words down to 80,000.

1558402_647777138602804_1415053531_n

  • Once that’s done, we work at publication.

fullcover

But publication is another process completely, so here are my nominations (with introductions) who will be posting on March 17th

Steven SanchezMy name is Steven Sanchez. I am a 31-year old writer, singer, and computer technician. I began writing my first book, The Acid Oasis: The Journal of Adrian Blackraven, at the age of 17 and self-published in January of 2012. Born and raised in New York City, I now reside in Florida with my wife and three children, where I am currently working on the ‘Satin’ novel series.

Raymond VogelPresident, AEC Stellar Publishing, Inc.; author, “Matter of Resistance” and “The Best Of You” (from “2013: A Stellar Collection”). All around decent guy.

Josephine HarwoodHi! My name is Josephine Harwood. I am a housewife, mother, and a family caregiver. In my spare time I love to read, play video role-playing games like Zelda, and writing stories. Writing a book was on my Bucket List, and Dark Secrets is my very first novel. It is the romantic-suspense story of two sisters who move from the East Coast down to West Texas and one of the sisters becomes the unsuspecting target of a stalker. Dark Secrets is only $2.99 and the first six chapters are FREE on Smashwords.

Be sure to check these authors out on March 17th, but in the meantime, I would love to hear about your writing process below! 

~SAT

%d bloggers like this: