Tag Archives: trilogy

Kindle Unlimited, Audiobooks, & Giveaway!

20 Jul

As promised, even though I’m not blogging writing tips right now (though I am trying to work it back into my schedule), I’m keeping everyone updated. Today, you’ll find out how you can read both of my series for FREE—and there’s an awesome giveaway somewhere below. Let’s start with some news!

For the first time in my entire author life, I have seen my books placed in a library. These moments might seem super small, but they feel super huge to me. As a teen librarian myself, I know how important libraries are to a community. They are amazing. If you’re lucky enough to have one nearby, be sure to visit your local library. Make sure to request your favorite materials too, because most libraries will consider ordering them! We librarians love you for it.

Minutes Before Sunset (book 1 of the Timely Death trilogy) is officially available as an audiobook! If you watched the behind-the-scenes video, then I’m sure you’re excited. I’m placing it below again in case you missed it last time. The narrators, Sarah Puckett and Steve Campbell, are so talented. They truly brought the Dark to life. Check it out on Audible. I feel incredibly lucky to have dual narrators on this series. Want to win a copy? Keep reading! 

The Bad Bloods series and the Timely Death trilogy are now available through Kindle Unlimited. If you’re a Kindle Unlimited subscriber, you can read both series for free. This is a limited-time offer, so make sure to grab them while you can. I’m super excited to see these books reach more readers on a new platform!

In personal news, this year has been super hard, not going to lie. Sometimes I think it’s been the hardest year in regards to my writing. As many of you know, I’ve been struggling with some health issues, and my cat had cancer this year. Thankfully, my cat Boo Boo beat cancer. (YAY!) I wish I could also say I’m all better now, but I’m really just learning how to cope with everything better. Basically, (and I find it really hard to open up about these things), I’m not able to hold most food down. It’s caused major malabsorption problems. My Vitamin D levels were that of an 83-year-old at one point, which doesn’t sound like a big deal, but it made my bones really brittle. My hair started to turn bleach-white and fall out. (Not usual graying, which I would be cool with.) Whatever it is has caused a lot of issues. Despite visiting three gastroenterologists, a rheumatologist, and two physicians, (not to mention getting too many procedures and tests to count), I’m still without a set diagnosis. The current weeding-out diagnosis landed me on two auto-immune disorders, but living with auto-immune disorders means a set of diet and lifestyle experiments that haven’t worked for me yet. Right now, doctors have told me my next step is visiting a medical university, but my insurance won’t cover it, and the local medical university won’t see me unless I’m covered. So until I can get better insurance, I’m sort of at a loss. I’m trying to keep my hopes up. Some days are easier than others. But I am really sick of feeling so sick. Seriously, things are hard. (Okay. Whew. Not used to being so open.) In other news, I chopped off eight inches of my hair, which has been interesting to say the least. Taking some serious downtime for myself has been helpful. But that also means I don’t have publications prepared for the near-future. I am writing and editing manuscripts, though. As an update from last time, I’m almost finished with my historical fantasy, about 10,000 words into my YA sci-fi, and brainstorming more than one project now. I’m not giving up. ❤ In fact, if you’re subscribed to my newsletter, then you got to read an exclusive sneak peek at one of my WIPs! If you’re not subscribed but want to be, click here.

Instead of a sneak peek at one of WIPs today, you get to enter a grand giveaway!

By visiting any of my social media sites today, you can enter to win a free copy of the Minutes Before Sunset audiobook. All you have to do is like, share the post, and comment “Done” to win 1 of 5 copies of Minutes Before Sunset Audiobook. In fact, it starts now! Five readers today can like this article, share it, and comment below that you’ve done so, and you’ll be entered to win. Enter with more chances by visiting my Twitter (AuthorSAT), my Facebook page, and my Instagram!

Good luck!

~SAT

#MondayBlogs An Author Who Fears Public Speaking

15 Aug

Despite working with the English language every day—as a writer, as an editor, and as a reader—I have difficulty speaking. I stumble and stutter a lot. Perhaps this is one of the reasons I worked so hard to master the written language. I was making up for another aspect of the language I didn’t excel in.

Looking back on it, I blamed moving around a lot as a kid—mixing up accents and idioms—but I don’t use blame anymore. In fact, I’ve rather embraced this awkward part of myself, and it no longer bothers me like it used to. A common comeback from a friend generally includes phrases like, “Okay. English major.” Or “Aren’t you the writer here?” Yeah. Yeah. I get it. I stutter. But it’s an accepted part of my life now, something I don’t fight, something I realized most people look past anyway. I was the one judging myself.

Take this anecdote as an example…

On a drive back from the grocery store, I saw Venus and Jupiter in the sky. I am a HUGE space nerd—probably due to Sailor Moon—so I started rambling about how new information on Pluto released, and that’s when I came across the word “meteors.” The problem was simple. I had just finished talking about how Meg Cabot’s final book in the Mediator series, and now I had to say meteor? It wasn’t happening. I stumbled for three minutes. Eventually, it turned into a giggle fit.

I know the words. I know how to say the words. I just can’t explain why it doesn’t come out that way. But I think the saddest part is when people can no longer take you seriously when you stumble over a word or two. In all honesty, I haven’t had that problem much. In fact, I think I simply worried that it would happen, so I stayed silent. My speech class in college got me over that fear. If I can say this without bragging, I got a big ol’ A in that course. (I know. I know. It’s speech class. But it meant the world to me. In fact, it meant Pluto, Jupiter, and Venus to me.) Up until that point, I thought there was no way I could succeed as a writer with a pronunciation issue like mine. What was I supposed to do if I ever booked a signing where I had to read a chapter out loud? The horror! What happens when people think I couldn’t have possibly written the words if I couldn’t speak them? Double horror! How do I explain myself? …I just died from horror.

It was a panic attack waiting to happen…a panic attack I overcame a long time ago but still comes back every now and then when I have to say specific or pacific, shoulder or solider, Neanderthal, and, I suppose, meteor or mediator. (Fun fact: I stumbled over mediator in my YouTube video—Book Boyfriends—and said “med-a-tore” instead. I suppose I could’ve deleted it, reshot it, edited it out, but…I’ve embraced this part of myself.) At my recent book signings in Barnes & Noble, I even messed up “Wattpad.” For some reason, I cannot, for the life of me, say “watt.” I always say “what.” So, “Whatpad” it is, and the crowd laughed when I made a joke about it. My fear somehow turned into laughter.

These are all words I avoided saying out loud. All words I’ve used in stories a hundred times. All words that are, no matter what, precious to me.

“Emma Saying” on YouTube and “How To Pronounce” are two websites I use on a regular basis to practice. I don’t avoid words anymore, but I still stumble, and I imagine that’s just a part of me that makes me me—a character in my own right—a writer who stumbled over her love for words.

Four events in the past year where I overcame my fear for public speaking!

Four events in the past year where I overcame my fear of public speaking!

Original posted July 22, 2015

~SAT

Bad Bloods: November Snow by Shannon A. Thompson

Bad Bloods: November Snow by Shannon A. Thompson

Bad Bloods: November Snow FINALLY came in the mail this week! Safe to say, I’m in love. On top of that, a lovely reader sent me a November Snow book review that cracked me up. “THE AUTHOR GAME OF THRONED ME AND I WAS IN MY FEELINGS OKAY?!?!?!?” – Chic Nerd Reads …Yep. I love your Bad Bloods book reviews. Thank you for sending them to me. 

Right now, Bad Bloods: November Rain (book 1) is FREE across all platforms. I hope you check it out. I’ll be debuting the paperbacks at Penned Con in St. Louis this September, and I’ll be sharing a booth with the lovely Natasha Hanova. Stop by her page and say hi!

November Rain (FREE)

AmazonBarnes & NobleiBooksKoboSmashwordsGoodreads

November Snow 

AmazonBarnes & NobleiBooksKoboSmashwordsGoodreads

#SATurdate: Good Morning Call, Bad Bloods 3, Top Ten, & Serial

16 Jul

What I’m Writing:

My YA fantasy, Dreammare, moved onto the third round of Adventure’s in YA Publishing’s Red Light/Green Light competition! That means I’m in the top ten! Read the opening page here. This week, I also wrote in BB, which is my second attempt at a contemporary YA, but I only have the first chapter done. I definitely believe in the story, but I’m not sold on myself writing it yet. Sometimes, we need more tools in our pocket before we can build something, and that might mean twenty more weeks of research for this bit. In bigger news, I’m DEFINITELY writing the next Bad Bloods book. Because of your raving reviews, Clean Teen Publishing already gave me the thumbs up to continue the series, and since I already have a draft from when I was 12 (eek! It’s terrible), I’m really excited to tackle this rewrite of an old project, too. So far, it’s titled July Thunder / July Lightning (but I’m aiming to make this one book instead of two). It takes place in July of 2090, and it will be told by two different characters, one of which you’ll recognize from November Rain and November Snow, and another who is completely new to the series. I’m 7,350 words in, three chapters deep, and working on the outline extensively. So far, the biggest hurdle is letting go of the focus of some of the original characters and allowing the current protagonists to focus on themselves and their story. You will see the members from the old cast as well as completely new characters and sections of Vendona. Most exciting of all will be an emphasis on Eastern Vendona, which I’ll talk a little about below.

What I’m Publishing:

Photo by The Bookworm Who Lived!

Photo by The Bookworm Who Lived!

We’re two days away from the book release of Bad Bloods: November Rain! I’m DYING from excitement. In fact, yesterday, Clean Teen Publishing let me know that we’re already on a second print run, even though the book isn’t out yet! This is big news. So, thank you for your support!

What are the latest readers already saying?

“I’m so hooked on this story and I am excited to start November Snow as soon as I’m done writing this review. I definitely recommend this book!”The Bookworm Who Lived

November Rain was a great read. The plot and the characters were pretty interesting and I was hooked from the very first page. The writing was smooth and easy to read and the pace was fast throughout the book. I easily finished this book in two sittings, it was hard to put it down. I am so excited to read the next part and see what happens! Recommend it? Yes!” –Daydreaming Books

Wattpad: Niki's Story

Wattpad: Niki’s Story

Since I spoke about Eastern Vendona above, you will love this news. Niki’s origin story released on the FREE Bad Bloods Prequel on Wattpad this week! You can read it here, and most of her story takes place in Eastern Vendona. Who is Niki? She is one of the higher ups in the Southern Flock, but before she joined, she was sold to a black-market psychic on the sunken bay. The sunken bay is a crime city in Eastern Vendona that literally sits on the beach leading to the ocean, but the ocean is poisoned with oil and other environmental issues. In fact, it’s one of the worst places to live, and though it plays a minor role in Bad Bloods: November Rain and Bad Bloods: November Snow, a large portion of the Bad Bloods sequel will take place in Eastern Vendona, so this story is a bit of a sneak peek. My goal is to finish the draft in two months and edit it before November for (hopefully) another July release. I mean, how cool would it be to have July Thunder release in July? (Especially since it’s the July after an election.) We will see…

The #1lineWed theme was “water” so here is your weekly preview:

Pre-Order Bad Bloods

November Rain, Part One, releases July 18, 2016

AmazonBarnes & NobleiBooksKoboSmashwordsGoodreads

November Snow, Part Two, releases July 25, 2016

Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks, Kobo, Smashwords, Goodreads

Visit the Pinterest and Facebook Pages.

Preorder Bad Bloods

Preorder Bad Bloods

What I’m Reading:

The Last Star by Rick Yancey

The Last Star by Rick Yancey

I finished The Last Star by Rick Yancey, and UGHHHHH, I’m so incredibly torn up after finishing this trilogy’s finale. It’s fantastic, it’s heartbreaking, it’s thrilling, and it’s…incredibly frustrating. I love how symbolic Rick Yancey’s voice is. I love how diverse his characters are. I love how REAL his sci-fi, apocalyptic alien takeover feels. And I think the ending was perfection. It was flawless. I don’t want to spoil anything, so I’m going to leave it at that, but if you haven’t started this alien sci-fi trilogy, pick up The 5th Wave today and check it out. It’s a thrilling ride you won’t forget. Recommended to sci-fi lovers who enjoy apocalyptic settings, alien takeovers, and mind-blowing twists. Must love metaphors. Must love numerous POVs. Must love surprises. Favorite Quote: For some, death is the midwife to faith. For others, it is faith’s executioner. Read my full five-star review by clicking here.

What I’m Listening To:

Serial Podcast

Serial Podcast

Okay. Okay. I’m FINALLY listening to the Serial podcast. I’m only on episode three, but holy bejeebes. I’m addicted.

What I’m Watching:

Speaking of addictions, I spent nearly all my free time watching Good Morning Call on Netflix. (Seriously. Each episode is 45 minutes long, and I finished all 17 episodes this week. I couldn’t stop myself. Not even a little bit. My writing time suffered, and I don’t even regret it one bit.) Good Morning Call is a Japanese romantic drama show based off a manga I’ve actually read, and I LOVED it. It’s super cheesy, it’s super ridiculous, and it’s super hard to stop watching. Even parts where the feminist inside me cringes, I have to admit I love. It’s such a guilty pleasure that I highly recommend, though you must be willing to read captions. The story follows a high school girl who finally gets her own apartment only to realize she’s been caught up in a rental scam and must room with the worst lover boy from her school…though maybe he’s not so bad, after all.

Good Morning Call

Good Morning Call

What I’m Baking, Making, and Drinking:

I made chili in the crock pot this week! But I have tons of plans on future desserts for this upcoming weekend. (My weekend is Sunday-Tuesday, by the way. I live in opposite land.)

What I’m Wearing:

Kiki and I were pretty in pink this week on Instagram.

What I’m Wanting:

La La Land with Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone. I have the BIGGEST crush on Emma Stone. She’s perfect. Oh, yeah. And Gosling. I guess he’s okay, too. 😉

What I’m Dreaming Of:

So, do you all have reoccurring rooms in your dreams? I do. Which I’m not sure is normal or not. But I have this one room that (and this is going to sound stalkerish, because it is) that is dedicated to Lily Collins. (WHAT? I love her. SO WHAT?) So, I visit this room in my dreams, for some reason, and it’s just filled with fan art, but this time, it was destroyed, and I was distraught, so I picked up what I could, and then, as I was leaving, I realized the back lights were on…which is weird. Because these lights have never been on. Then, I remember I’ve “sold” this room (apparently in a dream I can’t recall), and the new owner is there WITH AN AXE. So he hits me on the head.

Yep.

I woke up.

What Else Is Going On:

My new author photos are on the way! But I can’t believe we’re only two days away from the Bad Bloods book release! Thanks for your support!

Pre-Order Bad Bloods

November Rain, Part One, releases July 18, 2016

AmazonBarnes & NobleiBooksKoboSmashwordsGoodreads

November Snow, Part Two, releases July 25, 2016

AmazonBarnes & NobleiBooksKoboSmashwordsGoodreads

Visit the Pinterest and Facebook Pages.

~SAT

#MondayBlogs: Writing Tips for a Trilogy or Series

4 Jul

So, you have an idea for a trilogy or series. Awesome! Writing a series can be a lot of fun. I mean, who doesn’t want to spend more time with their characters and worlds? But many aspiring writers aren’t sure where to start, and writing a series is a lot of work. With these three steps, though, it might be a little easier than you think.

1. Determine the arc for the series—and each book

This step is important for your series whether or not your books will be standalones or need to be read in order. Each book should have an arc (and don’t forget that every character in your series should have an arc, too). On top of that, your overall series should have an arc. This means each book is building up to something by itself and working together to build up to something bigger. One easy way to do this is to consider your “sub-genre.” Maybe your first book of your paranormal romance trilogy will be a mystery (Who is the villain?), while your second book will be a thriller (We have to run from the villain!) and your last book will be your adventure (We have to go after the villain!). This method ensures each book brings something new to the series, while also working through an overall arc (in the example’s case, defeating the villain). Again, this is only one method, but you can mix and match to study your series and determine if you are keeping your books fresh and exciting but also unified.

Writing Tips for a Trilogy or Series

Writing Tips for a Trilogy or Series

2.  Keep Notes

Consistency is SO important. You might think you know your characters from top to bottom, but chances are, you don’t. We’re only human. We can only remember so much, and as your cast grows and changes, it gets harder and harder to remember every little detail. That being said, you must remain consistent throughout each book. You wouldn’t want a side character who is allergic to chocolate in book one to eat chocolate ice cream in book five. Same goes for scenes. If you’ve said a door was to the right, it better be to the right in the other books, too. Personally, I keep a file on places and characters, and I create an overall timeline. What’s a timeline? This tracks years before and during the books. This means if I have a character who says she broke her leg at five years old in book one, she says she was five in book three, not nine. Another file I keep is a summary of what was told to each character in previous chapters so I know what my characters know from scene to scene. It seems easy to remember, and it might be for some, but sometimes, we have to go work on something else or step away for a few months, and it can be hard to remember when you return. Keeping notes is never a bad idea.

3. Be Open

Writing a series is hard, even with a plan. But don’t fret! We all know that writers aren’t completely in charge of their characters, worlds, or ideas. Sometimes, the protagonist throws a curve ball, and everything changes. That’s okay! Think of writing a series like a road trip: You know where you’re starting, you probably know where it’s going to end, and you might have places you want to visit in between. But there might be some surprises along the way. Embrace them, and keep going. That’s where the fun is. And don’t give up! Following your dream is worth it, even if you have to rewrite that dream a couple of times along the way.

Original posted September 5, 2013

In this article, I discuss lessons I learned while writing my first two trilogies.

~SAT

A new review came in for November Snow! “Truly, Thompson has done an incredible job here of story weaving. Just wonderful. Don’t underestimate your need for tissues here people, don’t do it. Prepare yourself with tissues and a cuddly stuffed animal.” – Babbling Books (Seriously, listen to her advice. Tissues will come in handy.)

Catelyn's Story on Wattpad

Catelyn’s Story on Wattpad

This week, Catelyn’s Story released on the FREE Bad Bloods Prequel on Wattpad. This is also the first origin story seen from the Southern Flock’s perspective. They formed later than the Northern Flock, so from now on, you’ll see stories flip back and forth between the two flocks. If you ever wondered why the groups of bad bloods are called flocks, this origin story explains why! In Bad Bloods, Catelyn is Serena’s best friend. Here is a preview: The girl was pretty enough for plenty of crimes. Read her story by clicking the link.

Pre-Order Bad Bloods

November Rain, Part One, releases July 18, 2016

AmazonBarnes & NobleiBooksKoboSmashwordsGoodreads

November Snow, Part Two, releases July 25, 2016

AmazonBarnes & NobleiBooksKoboSmashwordsGoodreads

June’s Ketchup

29 Jun

Another month has passed, and with it, came the summer and my 25th birthday. GEEZ.

For those of you just now checking in this month, Ketchup actually means “catch up.” At the end of every month, I write these posts describing what goes on behind the scenes at ShannonAThompson.com. Some of the topics I cover include my big moments, top blog posts, my top referrer, #1 SEO term, and more in order to show insights that will hopefully help fellow bloggers see what was popular. I also hope it entertains the readers who want “extras” for this website.

Thank you for being a part of my life this June.

Big Moments:

Other than turning 25 this month, I hosted two author panels and book signings at Barnes and Noble in Overland Park, KS and Barnes & Noble in Kansas City, MO for BFest, and BFest was a blast! I had a great time discussing writing novels with avid readers and aspiring writers.

BFest 2016

BFest 2016

We’re officially less than a month away from the Bad Bloods book release, and there are a million ways to win prizes, including signed paperbacks. Enter this Goodreads Giveaway, e-mail shannonathompson@aol.com to sign up for a release day post, and come to the CTP’s Sizzling Summer Reads FB Party on July 8.

This month, the free Bad Bloods Prequel continued on Wattpad with two more origin stories. Meet Violet and Ryne. Violet is directly connected to The Timely Death Trilogy, so if you want to know what happened to Eric and Jessica after Death Before Daylight, Violet’s origin story is a must-read. If you haven’t read The Timely Death Trilogy, book one – Minutes Before Sunset – is free on all platforms! In July, you’ll meet Catelyn, Niki, and Blake!

My #1 SEO Term was “November Rain by Shannon A. Thompson” and November Rain was my #1 clicked item this month!

THANK YOU. 

November Rain, Part One, releases July 18, 2016

AmazonBarnes & NobleiBooksKoboSmashwordsGoodreads

November Snow, Part Two, releases July 25, 2016

AmazonBarnes & NobleiBooksKoboSmashwordsGoodreads

Preorder Bad Bloods

Preorder Bad Bloods

Top Three Blog Posts:

1. Writing Tips for Love Interests: I’m a sucker for love, so I love writing about love, and in this post, I discussed how you can round out your characters and their relationships with one another. One mistake I often see in aspiring romance writers is making the romantic interest just that: a romantic interest. Your romantic interest should have goals and a life of their own. Find out how.

2. So, You Want To Be A Book Blogger: Book bloggers are my best friends, and a huge part of my day job is connecting authors with book bloggers. I also used to be a book blogger, so I thought I would rewrite this popular post to explain how aspiring book bloggers can get started with their website.

3. How to Create Book Teasers on a Small Budget: Book teasers are so much fun, but they can be daunting. This is how I created 13 teasers for my book release on a relatively tiny budget. (It’s not impossible!) I’ll definitely keep creating teasers in the future, and I hope this article helps authors have fun creating them like I did.

Other Blog Posts:

#1 Referrer was WordPress' Reader

#1 Referrer was WordPress’ Reader

Taking a Writing Break (And Why It’s Important): After finishing a manuscript (or three), it’s nice (and important) to take a break. Let yourself recover. Clear your mind. Breathe a little bit.

Writing With Barbie: I use Barbies to write my novels. No shame. And I shared how Barbies affected my upcoming release, Bad Bloods.

Writing Tips: Build Your Vocabulary: Writers need words to write, but what happens when you don’t know that many words? This is how you can build your vocabulary naturally and NOT fall into the Thesaurus trap.

#SATurdate: BFest, YouTube Tropes, Thirteen Reasons Why, and My Library: A weekly update on what I’m reading, watching, baking, and listening to.

How Pre-Orders Help Authors And Readers: Pre-orders are definitely important, but they can also be fun! It’s not all about publishing. Readers can have fun with these tips, too.

#SATurdate: Peaky Blinders, Embassy Row 3, Dido, & Don’t You Cry: A weekly update on what I’m reading, watching, baking, and listening to.

#SATurdate: Me Before You, Thief of Lies, Pit Mad, & Bad Bloods Sequel: A weekly update on what I’m reading, watching, baking, and listening to.

#SATurdate: The Lobster, My 25th Birthday, Spotlight, and Outrun The Moon: A weekly update on what I’m reading, watching, baking, and listening to.

Website Wonders: A monthly classic.

YouTube Channel:

I returned to my YouTube channel – Coffee & Cats – this month by discussing Female Romantic Tropes…We Hate. Of course these tropes work for males, too, but I separated them due to how much it happens to that specific gender. I’ll cover males in July!

 

At the end of the month, I also like to take a moment to thank all of the websites who supported me by posting reviews, interviews, and features. If you want to be one of these websites, feel free to join my newsletter or email me at shannonathompson@aol.com. I always love speaking with new bloggers, writers, and readers! I will also share your post on all of my websites.

Reviewers:

“The best duology I’ve ever read! Action packed. Fast paced. Heartbreaking. The ending brought me to tears and made my heart melt.” Crazy Beautiful Reads, Bad Bloods: November Snow

“Captivating, strong and thrilling. I recommend November Rain to anyone who loves dystopian and learning the real meaning of trust in a world where trust is just an imagination.” – OMG Books and More Books, Bad Bloods: November Rain

“Fresh and alluring. November Rain is an amazing treat. I loved it and can’t wait to be an avid fan of the series. The series is definitely going to be worth drooling over.” Read, Watch, and Think, Bad Bloods: November Rain

“A fast paced fantasy, sci-fi story full of exciting characters with their own fascinating abilities and background stories. Didn’t disappoint one bit!” – The Book Prints, Bad Bloods: November Rain

“November Rain was thrilling and exciting and gets readers excited for more. It really focuses on the attributes of family, friends and loyalty, which was really refreshing to see in a dystopian novel. I will definitely be continuing on with this duology.” – Ronnie’s World Blog, Bad Bloods: November Rain

“I’m looking forward to delving into the next book to see what unfolds for the characters as I get deeper into the story.” Babbling Books, Bad Bloods: November Rain

June2016

#MondayBlogs What Changes From First Draft to Publication?

16 May

What changes from first draft to publication? So much. In fact, nearly everything. But if the answer was that simple, an entire article (or even whole books on the topic) wouldn’t be necessary, so there’s more to this answer than it seems. Despite that, I insist you take my article with a grain of salt. In the end, everyone’s writing method is different, so everyone’s editing process will be fine-tuned to fit that particular project. Figuring out what works for you and what needs to be done is key, but I wanted to discuss a few topics that almost always change for everyone, so you can prepare yourself for the battle ahead. (It’s a fun battle, I promise.)

1. Word Count

Please, please, please be open to changing your word count. This is especially true for those writers pursuing traditional publication. For every genre, for every age group, there is a “perfect” word count range you’re basically expected to fall into when querying or pitching. Yes, there are exceptions. You might even become the exception during an editing process, but knowing how long or short your story should be shows your knowledge for the market and for what’s appropriate for your audience. That being said, I’m going to contradict myself and say it’s better to be true to the story than to fit a standard, but keep an open mind when rereading your work to see if you can fit the standard. Maybe a scene isn’t necessary. Maybe two scenes can be combined. You might even find yourself contemplating a cut of your favorite scenes or characters, and sometimes, that’s necessary. Keep it in a folder. Share it as an extra on Wattpad later. But making sure everything is vital is one of those tricky but true things a writer must overcome. I struggle with this myself! Almost all of my novels’ first drafts are 130,000 words, but I quickly figure out a lot of it was repetitive information or information not needed for a storyline. I might save it for a sequel or condense it somewhere else, but I tend to find reaching those ideal word counts isn’t that hard as long as I allow myself to let things go and move on. Letting go can be difficult though, so to help you with that, I suggest you read The Disposability of Ideas by Maggie Stiefvater. She is the author of The Raven Cycle and a mad genius when it comes to letting things go, even when you don’t want to.

article

2. Characters

Names. Descriptions. Backgrounds. Even their existence might change. Oftentimes, writers will find that two characters in a draft can be combined to serve one purpose, or visa versa (one character could become two). Publishers are notorious for changing names—especially of protagonists—but I always suggest writers face this problem themselves before submitting. Don’t count on publishers choosing the perfect name, and try not to get attached in case they do change it in the end. I personally like to take notes of a characters’ background while also keeping a list of other names used in the story. This way, I make sure I’m using different types of names, including the first letter, the syllable count, the sound, etc.—all while staying true to their background as a person. As an editor, I receive a lot of manuscripts where all 20-some characters have similar sounding names, and unless that serves a purpose (like twins named closely together), it can get really confusing really fast. Of course, names is a shallow example of what can be changed, but I think it’s a good one since many writers get very attached to names quickly…and I’m about to expand on characters a little more in my last topic.

3. Major Changes and Rewrites

In the end, your plot, purpose, genre, or even cast could change completely. I, for one, just finished a manuscript that started off as a 62,000-word draft and ended up being a 92,000-word novel. Why? Because I was missing that much information the first time around. I wasn’t sure about my setting, I didn’t know my characters THAT well, and the secrets didn’t reveal themselves until the end. On top of that, I’m a plotter, not a pantser, so this was a painful book for me, but I followed my gut and did what I could and then, I faced my rewrites head-on. Let me use characters as an example for how much could change overall. A character’s gender, sexual orientation, secrets, lifestyle, background, and mindset could change simply because you didn’t TRULY know that character when you first set out to write the book (even though you thought you did). I recall Cassandra Clare discussing this at a panel I attended recently. For those of who are familiar with The Mortal Instrument series, she actually didn’t plan the big twist about Jace at the end, and she simply couldn’t understand why he acted the way he did for over 700 pages of the first draft. It wasn’t until she got there that she learned that vital aspect about his life, and so, naturally, she had to go back and rewrite the entire story to make his character real again. Don’t shy away from the right change, even if that change demands an entire rewrite. That change could be what makes your book.

The first draft is only the beginning, but that fact doesn’t have to be a scary thing. It can be an amazing thing. All writers go through it, and all writers come out of each stage happier than they were in the previous stages. Rewriting that 62,000-word draft I discussed above, for instance, was one of the best projects I’ve ever worked on. When it finally began to take shape, I was satisfied and proud of the work. Before I rewrote it, it simply sat on my computer collecting technology dust. Think of editing and rewriting as another writing adventure—one that will take you one step closer to publication—and what could be better than that?

Original posted March 20, 2014.

(On a side note, the original is VERY different than this article. I actually focused on a real novel of mine, so if you want to see a detailed account of what I went through with one novel, this is a great article to read.)

~SAT

draft3

November Rain, Part One, releases July 18, 2016

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November Snow, Part Two, releases July 25, 2016

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#WriterProblems 11-15

21 Mar

Recently, I spoke with a couple of fellow writers when we began discussing writer problems. I showed them my #WriterProblems series that I did almost a year ago, and then, I realized I never shared 10-15. I also realize many of you may not have seen the cards I made for writers back in the day, so you can read Writers Problems 1-5 and 6-10 by clicking the links. Below, I’m covering 11-15, and I hope you have as much fun with these as I do…even though they are writer problems. 😉

Writer Problems #11

Autocorrect. It Thinks It Knows Everything.  11154822_3124201782664_4775317025677171708_o

I have this problem ALL THE TIME, particularly while writing The Tomo Trilogy. One of my characters actually is named Miles, and my laptop—despite my attempts to change the settings—insists on lowercasing his name because it’s a noun (not a proper noun). Don’t even get me started on invented words and names.

Writer Problems #12

Getting Too Attached To Writing Utensils 12829300_3124202422680_364883757868105374_o

Maybe it’s just me, but I treat my pens as a writer the way most readers treat their books. I do not lend them out, because they rarely make their way back to me. (And I buy expensive pens.) I know many writers use laptops nowadays, but I write a lot of my novels by hand before I type them up, so there’s a certain amount of familiarity for me when it comes to pens. I might even get upset when I have to throw one away, because—well—it helped me write chapters 1 through 20 in my latest WIP.

Writer Problems #13

Searching For Character Names
1556489_3124191302402_2841858008150793257_o

Picking the PERFECT name is hard enough. I mean, there is so much to consider. The background, the culture, the time period, the sound, or just the personality. Because of this, I am in love with surfing BabyNames.com. It’s one of my most visited websites. Even when I’m not writing something new, I’m browsing it, because who knows when I’ll need a new list of names to use? This has caused some interesting scenarios, including the one you see in my card. That actually happened while I was attending college. I was browsing BabyNames.com in between classes, and a girl stopped me to tell me congratulations. I gave her the strangest look (and actually replied “For what?”) She walked away like I was the strange one. It took me half a day to realize what transpired.

Writer Problems #14

Trying to Choose a Title 12823365_3124202542683_6786956300042952189_oTitling your work can be a difficult, maddening journey. Even though publishers often change titles, it’s nice to have a working one that feels complete or one that will catch an agent’s attention on a query letter. This issue is especially important for self-published authors, because, well, they literally have to choose it. Cue the madness. This could mean considering trends (like short titles when I made this or the longer, poetic titles now), or it could mean concentrating on symbols throughout your story. I actually wrote an article about this—Titling Your Novel—but the ironic part is that I wrote this article a LONG time ago, when Bad Bloods was called November Snow and when November Snow used to be called It’s Only a Matter of Time. (See? Those titles can get out of control.) I’ll have to rewrite that article soon.

Writer Problems #15

When The Coffee Runs Out wp15

Okay. So this card is a bit of an exaggeration, but…not really. It’s the symbolic version of what ACTUALLY happens in my head. I am a coffee addict, so without it, my writing brain wanders to places and scenarios and characters that have NOTHING to do with what I should be concentrating on. Hence the magical forest.

So how about you? What did these writer problems remind you of? Share your story below. Feel free to share and use these as well! On a side note, I could always continue to make these cards as well. Just let me know if that’s something you’d like!

~SAT

Cover

A little excerpt to start your week off:

“Do you think fate’s possible?” she asked, and I stiffened.

Fate was a reality, but it wasn’t a beautiful or angelic thing. It was a heart-wrenching nightmare. And we’d fallen blindly into it. We had no escape. It was happening, and it was up to me to guarantee our survival of it.

“Yes,” I said. “I think it’s very possible.”

She smiled and pulled me down to kiss me, even though I knew she wouldn’t if she understood the ramifications of it all. Her kiss could kill us, and my consent signed our death certificates, selfishly and without control.

Read Minutes Before Sunset, book 1, for FREE

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Seconds Before Sunrise: book 2:

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Death Before Daylight: book 3:

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#SATurdate: Cassandra Clare, Content Disclosure, and Lemon Cookies

19 Mar

I met Cassandra Clare this week! She is definitely one of my favorite YA writers, so I jumped at the opportunity to meet her. We even geeked out over Twitter before the event, and I had two books signed by her. She is super sweet, and I definitely recommend attending her events if she comes close to your town!

What I’m Writing:

I’m 59,000 words into Take Me Yesterday…which means I’m officially in the last act, and I’ll tell you what, book two is much more twisted than book one (not that anyone has the chance to read book one…but I promise I’ll let you know when I start pursuing publication on The Tomo Trilogy. Right now, I’m focused on getting Bad Bloods out there.) That being said, this sequel is one of those books that I have to keep pushing myself away from my desk and reminding myself that I’m not psychotic…right? I’m particularly loving the new setting in this book, the new characters—especially the focus on female characters—and Sophia’s change in emotional state. But that’s all I’ll say for now.

What I’m Publishing:

Interior

Interior

I received the complete interior design for Bad Bloods: November Rain, and Bogart reviewed it thoroughly. We are both in love. If you read the sneak peek of Chapter Two, then you saw the first chapter from Daniel’s POV. We see him with Old Man Gregory, a man who owns the convenience store, which also serves as an illegal bar (the one I talked about in the content disclosure). Fun fact, I named Old Man Gregory after my older brother Gregory, but the two are nothing alike…even though he would be an old man in 2089. Like 101 years old.

We also received the content disclosure for November Rain, so I thought you’d like to know our rankings. If you need a handy guide about what these rankings mean, click here to read more details about November Rain’s disclosure.

First off, November Rain was rated YA(m) – Young Adult Mature – which means it’s written for a mature young adult audience.

Violence: 5: Um. No surprise here. Bad Bloods is a fairly violent duology, revolving around a political debate eradicating an entire group of people, which mainly consists of homeless children…but I promise you, the violence is not as graphic as the original book? Okay. That’s not saying much. But there is meaning behind it. The violence isn’t gratuitous.

1618672_1003118153068699_7248825728918056648_nRomance: 1: I promise, there is romance in this duology, although it’s more “intimacy” than lust, and the reason for that becomes pretty clear within the first two chapters.

Language: 3: Shit. That’s all I have to say.

Drugs/Alcohol/Smoking: 3: There is an illegal bar the main character attends for supplies, but he himself doesn’t drink. That being said, Diet Coke plays a major role in Bad Bloods as a type of drug, but I think I’ll leave that up for a surprise.

In other publishing news, I updated my author bio, which now includes my obsessions for rooftops, cookies, and murder shows.

This weeks’ #1lineWed preview was “now,” so here is this week’s preview: Her once moonlit eyes were now the dark sides of the moon.

In Bad Bloods, the moon and stars are very symbolic. The children, for one, are homeless, so many of them lived under the sky, and even when they form flocks, they travel at night, so the stars and moon are often the only light they see. Because of this, the symbolism becomes very nature-focused, including…you know…rain and snow. So, you can expect a lot of comparisons to nature throughout the duology.

Add Bad Bloods to Goodreads: November Rain and November Snow

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Coming soon!

Coming soon!

What I’m Reading:

1934484_1001844639862717_1406521969915192150_nI finished Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare, and of course, I gave it 5 Shadowhunter stars. You can read my full 5-star review here. Don’t worry, it’s spoiler free (including spoilers from The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices, both of which I highly recommend you read before reading The Dark Artifices.) My favorite quote? And if there were two things he believed were limitless, it was love and imagination.

I also began The Young Elites by Marie Lu, and even though I’m about ten pages in, I love it!

What I’m Listening To:

Gooey by Glass Animals. It will not get out of my head. (Not that I want it to leave either.)

What I’m Watching:

It all started with a little research…and then, I found the perfect murder…and then I found a TV show that talked about said perfect murder…and then I was binge-watching Murder Maps. These things happen.

On a not-so-light note, I also watched The Hunting Ground, the Oscar-Nominated documentary about sexual assault on college campuses. I could say so many things about this documentary, but I think time is better spent if you take an hour out of your day to watch it. That being said, I am a graduate of one of the universities under investigation for Title IX, and I can say that I am not surprised they are under investigation. This is an epidemic for men and women, and I hope the country as a whole can come together to address this issue in a productive way that prevents sexual assault from continuing for future students.

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What I’m Baking, Making, and Drinking:

Mango lassi and cream cheese lemon glazed cookies! I also made dark chocolate chip cookies this week too. (I really like my cookies.)

 What I’m Wearing:

Green, for St. Patty’s Day!

What I’m Wanting:

12240913_1000277113352803_4970759992132676648_oHonestly, I want more of those lemon cookies. I already ate them all.

What I’m Dreaming Of:

I was a magical general of 13 magical warriors, and we were fighting 13 other magical warriors. (Okay. This is where if I turn a dream into a book I would add more detail, so magical warrior will have to do.) That was when my best warrior went missing for 3 days, and on return, he asked to go on a walk with me. Of course I said yes, because he was my best warrior…and also, he was quite handsome. But he had been brain-washed! And he set me up to get kidnapped…so I was kidnapped by the other warriors, and they sedated me while they were waiting for their general to arrive (to kill me, I assume). But 3 days passed, and one of my warriors showed up to see if I had been kidnapped. Of course they denied it, but I tore out of the sedation long enough to crawl on my hands and knees to get to him. He tossed me Chapstick, but in this world, you ate the Chapstick to get special energy, and upon eating it, I sprang to my feet and ran…right into a shopping mall. (Sorry, my dreams are strange.) In this shopping mall, the cops were standing all around the escalators, talking about how I was most likely to escape there…and I ran right past them laughing! Of course they chased me, but I’d already vaulted over the fountain and headed for my main exit—the women’s restroom. (Fun fact, I’ve had this part of the dream before, and the women’s restroom worked, but this time…) A NO EXIT sign was plastered on the door, and a man was trying to push through it but couldn’t. I didn’t let it stop me. I laughed and went into the men’s restroom…where the exact same exit waited, and then I woke up in real life. I also had a dinosaur nightmare this week…but those are too traumatic to write about.

What Else Is Going On:

As many of you saw at the end of my last article, this was the week that my mom died thirteen years ago. (Thirteen years, that blows my mind.) Spring Break, for many, is a time of vacations and beaches (or snowboarding), and getting drunk on St. Patty’s Day, but Spring Break, particularly March 16, is a reminder of my mother’s sudden death and everything I’ve done since that life-changing moment. I promised myself back then that I would strive to follow my dreams, and I still am. I can only hope that I will continue to keep my promise, and I promise to try my best every day.

Thanks for taking the journey with me,

~SAT

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Read Minutes Before Sunset, book 1, for FREE

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Seconds Before Sunrise: book 2:

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Death Before Daylight: book 3:

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#SATurdate: Lady Midnight, House of Cards, & Coffee Grinds

12 Mar

I somehow just realized it was March. Listen, I know we’re 12 days in, but I’ve been living in LA via Lady Midnight and I’m pretty sure it’s winter in the current book I’m writing. This confuses me.

What I’m Writing:

As many of you know, I’m writing book two of The Tomo Trilogy, even though the first one isn’t on the road to publication yet. I won’t lie. Writing book two has been difficult, but not any more difficult than other books I’ve written. That being said, it did get me thinking about how book two gets such a bad rep. I get it. Book two needs to be better than book one, but it can’t be better than book three. That’s a lot of pressure. Especially since the characters and the setting and the storyline are familiar now that book one is complete. But I LOVE writing book two. I feel like there is more pressure in book one to be fascinating and understandable, while in book two you can just focus on the story rather than the world-building, and book three…Well, letting characters go is never easy. Letting the entire story go? Beyond shattering. I’ll probably write an article about this in April.

What I’m Publishing:

I saw the interior mock up for Bad Bloods yesterday, and let me tell you, it is beautiful! I am thrilled by the design, and I cannot wait to see the final result. This week’s #1lineWed theme was “smile.” So here is your weekly preview of a line from Bad Bloods. Robert, if you’re curious, is the leader of the Southern Flock, which is the flock Serena—the protagonist—belongs to. Flocks are groups of bad bloods who unite in order to survive. When Bad Bloods starts, there are only two flocks left.

Add Bad Bloods to Goodreads: November Rain and November Snow

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What I’m Reading:

12841393_997246166989231_2090412302441378137_oIt is here! FINALLY. The glory that is Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare. I bought mine the second it released, and I’m not going to lie, I considered reading in the store or in the parking lot instead of driving home. Putting it down to do reasonable things—like drive—was difficult. I’m about 350 pages in, and so far, my favorite quote is this one: “Every story is a love story.”

What I’m Listening To:

The Guilty Feminist: A podcast about feminism, which means equality for all, including men. Just throwing that out there. This podcast is honest, hilarious, and entertaining. No one is perfect and everyone makes mistakes. They talk about nudity, apologizing, sex, food, and basically, everything. I’m telling you, it’s both fascinating and refreshing, because the speakers very much make fun of themselves, the world, and analyze topics from both sides of the coin.

height_250_width_250_guilty_feminist_bobThe Narrative Breakdown is a podcast for writers, agents, publishers, readers, etc. It covers all types of topics—from screenwriting to query letters to reading outside your favorite genres. Every episode features a new guest speaker, too, so you can learn about the industry from various voices and perspectives.

Serial Killer by Lana Del Ray

This is the song I tweeted about this week. If you missed it, my roommate walked into my office while I was writing…and singing this song. “I’m a sociopath” are difficult lyrics to explain. REALLY difficult lyrics to explain. Especially when blissing out to them.

What I’m Watching:

I started and finished the current season of House of Cards, and holy alkhd oasidhl ainceilna livenli. That season was perfection (although I must admit I thought the second half was much better than the first half). I’m all for relationship drama, but I definitely prefer the twisted politics and the unstoppable (and ruthless) Underwoods. Plus, Kevin Spacey is my hero.

netflix-house-of-cards

What I’m Baking, Making, and Drinking:

12801189_997773623603152_4936648959475274214_nA very lovely lady gifted me with a much-needed coffee grinder, so I was experimenting all week with coffee grinds. My kitchen smells like heaven, so I’ve basically been writing in there so I can enjoy it.

What I’m Wearing:

Bags under my eyes. I’m exhausted.

What I’m Wanting:

CdEIXNBUEAAymQi.jpg-largeRoseBlood – A.G. Howard’s latest novel, a retelling of the Phantom Opera. I loved her Splintered trilogy, and I cannot wait for what she has in store for everyone next. On a side note, I love how this cover is similar to her last trilogy’s covers, even though it’s a completely different series. It keeps her style, makes her easy to recognize, and still stands on its own. (Not to mention that it is freakin’ gorgeous.) Congrats, Anita!

What I’m Dreaming Of:

My father and I were driving down a highway bridge when he stopped paying attention and the truck went off the highway. We plummeted into some trees, but somehow (and this made no sense), we ended up a mile away from the wreck, unscathed. I told my dad I was going to run to the wreck, because Bogart (my cat) was in the truck, and I wanted to make sure he was okay. My father called the cops, while I ran to the car wreck. The truck was stuck in the trees outside this mini-mall (and no one seemed to care that there was a truck up in the trees). In fact, my money was all over the ground, and a man started to pick it all up after leaving a Chinese restaurant. I tackled him, and then demanded he return all of my money…and give me all of his egg rolls. (I really love egg rolls…In fact, after this dream I went out and bought egg rolls.) He did both, and I started eating the egg rolls only to remember…Oh, yeah. My cat and the car wreck. So, I ran over to the tree line where a little girl was standing. She told me she found a boulder in the woods. (That’s it. No idea why.) I brushed her off, ran into the woods, and found Bogart lying down. I thought he was dead, so I was super upset, but then he looked up and meowed at me, and all was well. I woke up in real-life, where Bogart was laying next to me, and I started smuggling him with hugs and kisses. He tried to get away because he thought it was breakfast time. Safe to say he got a giant bowl that morning and had no idea why.

What Else Is Going On:

I’m trying to be healthier. This means taking an aerobic kickboxing class online. This means hurting a lot. This means realizing that I am not the same girl I was when I took aerobic kickboxing in college. Yes. That is a real class that I ended up taking, because—fun fact—once you fulfill your English requirements, you cannot take any more English classes and have them count toward your English degree…so they put me in kickboxing. (That still makes my blood boil to this day, even though I quite enjoy kickboxing.)

~SAT

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Read Minutes Before Sunset, book 1, for FREE

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Seconds Before Sunrise: book 2:

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Death Before Daylight: book 3:

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#SATurdate: Witch, Writer Madness, Fairyland, & Rooftops

5 Mar

This is covering two weeks of life, since last week was all about those Website Wonders, which means it’s a tad longer than usual, but I hope you enjoy all the craziness.

What I’m Writing:

12795183_991891044191410_185453795754929210_oI’ll tell you what. When a character reveals a plot twist you didn’t have planned AT ALL 40,000 words in, it changes things. Like, REALLY changes thing. Sticky Notes must have been made by the writing gods. I’m going to be honest. I’m going writer crazy. I’m working on Take Me Yesterday, but I’m also fine-tuning a novel I’ll refer to as “D.” I’m on D’s fourth draft…and I’m about to try to tackle it a fifth time. My main issue is the beginning—how to tackle that first chapter so it’s both exciting and showcases what readers will see throughout the novel—especially since most of the novel takes place in an entirely different universe/dimension than the first chapter. It’s much harder than it sounds, but I think I’ve FINALLY figured out a missing piece, and I’ve been obsessing over it ever since. That being said, there’s one more book. (I don’t normally write numerous things at once, but I am right now.) This is a completely new novel, too. It’s more or less to help me clear my head by working on something unrelated to publishing. (Not that it doesn’t have future potential, but sometimes a fresh project is a nice step away from the pressure of deadlines.) So there you have it. I’m writing three novels right now. I’m 40,000 words in Take Me Yesterday, playing around with the first 10,000 words of D, and outlining a new one. (So far, I’ve even written the first chapter). Here’s to the unknown! If you’re wondering what D is about, here’s your first clue.

What I’m Publishing:

I received my reviewer packet for Bad Bloods! That means book bloggers should get ready! Reviewers will be chosen soon. Also, I picked out sections for future teasers this week…and falling really far behind on my keywords. But I think I’ll be sharing prequel stories leading up to the release of Bad Bloods via Wattpad, probably starting in April.

One week’s #1lineWed preview theme was nicknames, and here was the favorited tweet.

That being said, this isn’t necessarily a “sneak peek” of Bad Bloods. This is actually a direct quote from an origin story. I wrote about 13 origin stories to get my characters figured out and outlined the other 13. (Bad Bloods has 24 characters in the two flocks of bad bloods alone.) This quote happens between Adam and Daniel during Violet’s origin story. Daniel is a protagonist in Bad Bloods, and Adam is, more or less, his sidekick. (Adam actually rejoices in this term.) Perhaps I’ll share these origin stories before the release date. I might be sending one out in a newsletter. We will see. 😉

Another week’s #1lineWed theme was “need.”

This is a direct quote from Bad Bloods, but that’s all I’ll say about that. 😉

Add Bad Bloods to Goodreads: November Rain and November Snow

Visit the Facebook, Pinterest, and the Extras page.

Coming soon!

Coming soon!

What I’m Reading:

smI read and finished Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon, V. 11 and V. 12 by Naoko Takeuchi. You all know I’m a Sailor Moon junkie through and through, but you can read my full reviews here and here. These volumes conclude the manga. 

I also finished The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland on a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente. You can read my review by clicking here. It’s a great read! It’s honest, it’s fantastical, it’s flowery, and it’s fun.

I also read How To Disappear: Erase Your Digital Footprint, Leave False Trails, and Vanish Without a Trace by Frank M. Ahearn (which is exactly how it sounds) and Liar by Rob Roberge, a memoir about addiction and mental health. How To Disappear is hilarious and informative, while Liar is heavy but interesting. I’ve done TERRIBLY at writing book reviews, but I promise to get back on that shortly…but after I obsess over my new Variety Puzzles magazine.

What I’m Listening To:

The sound of my rolling chair in my office as I roll back and forth between my desk and Sticky Notes and my table…and sometimes my bar. 😉

What I’m Watching:

MV5BMTY4MTU2NjMyNV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMzUwMDk4NzE@._V1_UY1200_CR90,0,630,1200_AL_I went to the theatre to see The Witch! It takes traditional tales of pilgrims and their relationship with religion, the woods, and folklore, and puts it to the test. To me, it was about the descent of madness and sin, and although I’m not generally into overly intense religious messages, Witch wasn’t too bad. I was SERIOUSLY impressed by Harvey Scrimshaw’s monologue scene. He blew me away. That being said, this movie is most definitely a film. It’s not a horror story or a simple paranormal date night movie to see for fun. It’s an actual story, so expect that rather than The Conjuring. Annnddd, because I heard a lot of people complaining about this, it is in Old English, which can make it hard to understand sometimes. I didn’t have an issue, but I also studied Old English extensively in college. Whether or not that was why, I don’t know, but check it out if you want a twisted story of madness.

I also binge-watched Sword Art Online, because it makes me cry, and I started Fate/Night because the lovely Kathy Lynn Cross suggested it. Check out her novels! She is awesome. And, of course, I watched the Oscars. Way to go, Leo! (But I have to say, I was most happy that Ex Machina and Alicia won an award.)

What I’m Baking, Making, and Drinking:

I did made an awesome Skinny Mexican Casserole and venison chili. For dessert, I baked a bunch of dark chocolate chip cookies. (I tend to do this also.) I also bought a bento box, so…NOM.

What I’m Wearing:

12794413_993634640683717_8444677203559547088_nChillin’ socks, featuring penguins.

What I’m Wanting:

The Winner’s Kiss and Lady Midnight! We’re so close! I also cannot wait to read The Hate U Give by Angela Thomas.

“The Hate U Give tells the story of 16-year-old Starr, who navigates between the poverty-stricken slum she has grown up in and the upper-crust suburban prep school she attends. Her life is up-ended when she is an eyewitness to a police officer shooting her best friend, Khalil, who turns out to have been unarmed during the confrontation – but may or may not have been a drug dealer. As Starr finds herself even more torn between the two vastly different worlds she inhabits, she also has to contend with speaking her truth and, in the process, trying to stay alive herself.” – Publisher’s Weekly

What I’m Dreaming Of:

So I created a potion to take down aliens? But they looked like people, and they were after my entire family, so I was hiding…in my own house. (My dreams don’t make sense.) This is when an alien general found me. His name was Steve and he wore a suit. I laughed at him and told him that he’d never get credit for catching me, because his leader wanted to catch me, and I was right. When Steve took me outside, everyone pretended not to see, so Steve freaked out, thinking that the leader would kill him just so he could take all of the credit. So, naturally, Steve joined my side to help me escape right as his alien leader pulls up in a GIANT red pickup. (Don’t ask. I’m not sure why either.) We run around the house packing (because I guess we have the time to do this), and at one point, Steve starts drinking all of my aunt’s whiskey, and I yell at him that it isn’t his, to which he points out that my aunt would probably not care under such circumstances. But I still argue, because it’s her favorite limited-edition MAPLE whiskey. (Gross.) And he shrugs and drinks it anyway. I give up, finish packing, and right as his red-pickup-truck-driving leader bursts in, we make a run for the woods and escape…whiskey in hand. And still arguing about him drinking it.

What Else Is Going On:

12802846_991310444249470_6291603099732911419_nWe had REALLY nice weather, so I practically lived on my roof for a few days. (I’m a rooftop writer…which terrifies my neighbors.) It was particularly funny this time around, because they haven’t seen me up on the roof since fall, and the grandson visiting my neighbor started screaming about cats being on the roof. (Because I take my cats up there with me.) Of course the grandfather was like, “That’s impossible—” ::turns around:: “Oh, it’s you again.”

Me ::waves enthusiastically:: “Hi, Jeff.” Don’t worry. Just me being strange.

I also learned a lot watching your lesson on how to kill termites.

~SAT

I want to give a big shout out to Crazy Beautiful Reads for being the sweetest book reviewer there is. Seriously, never hesitate to tweet/message/e-mail me. You all make my day/night/life.

Read Minutes Before Sunset, book 1, for FREE

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Seconds Before Sunrise: book 2:

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Death Before Daylight: book 3:

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