December Giveaway Winners Announced!

Remember that time at the beginning of the month when I announced a Rafflecopter giveaway some indie-author friends and I were hosting? Well, we got hundreds of entries, and today I get to announce the pool of winners!

Here’s the Rafflecopter Giveaway Winner List of Utmost Glory and Ebookness.

Congratulations to Cory, Bailey, Jennifer, Raechel, Marrok, Rachel, Hailey, and Olivia! The giveaway hosts will contact you individually. I’ll also link to each book so the rest of you can check them out and pick up a copy if you didn’t win!

Where the Woods Grow Wild – Nate Philbrick

Song of the Sword – Hope Ann

Water Princess, Fire Prince – Kendra E. Ardnek

Be Thou My Vision – Faith Blum

Becoming Nikki – Ashley Elliott

Alen’s War – Hannah A. Krynicki

Befriending the Beast – Amanda Tero

The Wings of Antheon – Ellyanna J. Wenceslao

There’s a lot of variety there, so make sure you take a peek! In the meantime, have a great day.

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My 2017 Multi-Genre Reading Challenge

I’ve hatched a reading plan for 2017. Now, normally I ready almost exclusively fantasy. As a matter of fact, the last book I (tried to) read that wasn’t fantasy was Michael Crichton’s Jurassic Park , and I couldn’t finish it.

So I got to thinking the other day (a rare occurrence), and I realized I need a bit of variety in my life. So I proposed the following to myself: what if I read one book each month in a genre that I normally don’t read? I liked the idea, so I drew up a plan and here we are.

My self-imposed rules:

  1. Once I start a book, I have to finish it.
  2. I’m not allowed to pick a book I’ve previously read.
  3. Each book must be read within the month.

If all goes according to plan, I’ll be following this chart:

January – Historical Fiction

February – Young Adult

March – Crime/Mystery

April – Play/Script

May – Thriller

June – Science Fiction

July – Graphic Novel

August – Biographical

September – Dystopian

October – Non-Fiction

November – Romance

December – Young Adult

Now, you may notice there are some popular genres I haven’t listed, such as horror, paranormal, etc. While I want to try a variety of genres, I also have to draw a line somewhere, and there are certain genres or elements that I simply will not sample for personal reasons. (Genres aside, I won’t read anything with explicit content, or strong language.)

You may have also noticed that I included Young Adult fiction twice (February and December). I figured it was a broad enough genre, and includes enough subgenres, that I should pick from it twice. Also, I had an extra month and had to fill it with something.

I have some ideas for a few of the months, but I’ll definitely need suggestions for most of them, so feel free to drop a comment or hit me up on Twitter! And if you’d like to do this challenge, or something similar, then join the fun!

In the meantime, have a great day.

Operation: 100 Sales on Launch Day!

Happy Saturday, everybody! So, I’ve got a minor announcement…Where the Woods Grow Wild is officially out! If you’ve been following the countdown on Twitter/Instagram or the build-up posts right here, then you knew this day was coming, and here it is!

book1coverfinished

A forest looms over Bardun Village. Nobody goes in. Nothing comes out. The secrets in the oaks remain hidden until a mischievous escapade thrusts Martin and Elodie behind the silent trees. Separated and lost in a tangle of fantasy, they discover more than animals roam where the woods grow wild.

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I’ve got a few topics to cover in this post, so let’s move right along. First of all, a huge thank you to anyone and everyone who has encouraged me and supported me throughout the whole creation process of WtWGW, from family to strangers on social media. It hasn’t always been a smooth or pleasant ride, but you guys made it happen.

thank-you

Second, I’ve set up a challenge/goal for today, as it’s uber-super-ultra-cool-launch-day. See that post title up above? Yeah, we’re going for it. 100 sales on day one. Today.

“But Nate, that’s a really big number. It’s way bigger than 99. How will you ever pull off such an extraordinary feat?” *polishes tophat in disbelief* 

I’m glad you asked! I need your help. Here are some things you can do to push the number up (and earn my undying love and servitude a thumbs up).

  • Treat yourself or someone else to a copy! Nothing helps sales like a sale, right?
  • Spread the word. Grab a Santa Claus costume and go yell about WtWGW on the street corners. Or just tell a friend. #thepoweroffriendship
  • Social media shares! For every retweet, like, share, or re-post this gets, I’ll chug some hot chocolate. If by the end of the day I’m a hyper, sugar-saturated hospital case, then we did it!
  • Mark it on Goodreads. More exposure is always helpful.

conquer

Now, it’ll take a while for the Kindle page and the Paperback page to link up into one Amazon page, so here’s a link to each version:

Where the Woods Grow Wild – Kindle

Where the Woods Grow Wild – Paperback

Want more information about the book? I’ve got you covered with past blog posts about the characters and the story world, so go check those out of you want to!

All right, now let’s see how close to 100 we can get! In the meantime, have a great day!

 

Author Interview with Ashley Elliot

Hello, wordmigos! Today I have the pleasure of sitting down* for an interview with splendid indie author Ashley Elliot from Inklings Press.

*To be fair, it’s quite possible she was standing up when she answered my questions. Or doing one-handed pushups with a baby koala on her back. Let’s not make assumptions.

Ashley and I, along with a handful of other indie authors, are doing a giveaway thingy [insert fancy giveaway clicky thingy here] together, and you still have time to go participate for a shot at one of eight free e-books!

It was good fun to ask Ashley some questions about herself and her writing, and she provided some great answers!

(Note: I’ve included some interviewer interjections purely for the sake of clarity.)

N: So, can you tell me a little bit about your writing style? What genre do you tend to work in?

A: My writing style is very seat-of-the-pants, never really planned (I’ve got general ideas and know how it’ll end, but I let the characters tell me where they want to go), and very sporadic. It’s changed from book to book, as I like for all of my characters to have their own voice, but I’m more dialogue-heavy than anything else. My first novel, Becoming Nikki, is very light and airy, whereas my second, The Art of Letting Go, is a lot heavier (and more depressing; sorry). I write young adult fiction, usually coming-of-age, with lots of lessons cleverly hidden inside the pages.

N: What’s been a favorite experience of yours as an indie-author?

A: Once, I got to go to a local authors’ spotlight at a library with a fellow indie author friend and sold exactly one book. I also love it whenever somebody tells me that something I wrote touched them.

N: If you could go back in time and offer one bit of advice to your younger author self, what would you say?

A: Keep writing. Never stop, no matter what people say. Your writing may suck now, but you’re getting better, and it’ll show… eventually. Oh, and write out what your plans are for that novel because you’re going to get old and forget and it’s going to be very sad.

N: What do you think is the hardest part about being an author, whether self-published or traditional?

A: I’d have to say that the hardest part for me personally is knowing that what I’m writing is actually good. I’ve got a lot of self-confidence outside of writing, but I hate showing people what I’ve written because I never think it’s any good. And that seeps into finding motivation to write, which I think is the second-hardest thing. Sometimes I just don’t want to write, and self-confidence can play a major part in that.

N: Can we get a peek at something you’re working on now? Or is it all FBI levels of confidentiality?

A: Haha*, well, something I’ve been working on that’s definitely more public is a novel called The Art of Letting Go, which is about this girl who loses someone very close to her and has to figure out how to move on.  I’m done writing it, but the revising stage is taking a lot of time and effort that I don’t really have at the moment.  It’s on hold until I finish college, which will hopefully be in March!  (When it’s done, though, I’m going to try and publish it through the traditional route.  Fingers crossed!)  The project hidden under FBI levels of confidentiality is currently in the brainstorming stage, and if I told you anymore besides that, I’d have to kill you**.
*Please note that such slang vocabulary does not reflect the serious, professional nature of the blog or the blog host.
**The interviewer had no desire to be killed, so he didn’t pursue this issue further.
 

N: You’re currently submitting Becoming Nicki as part of our December giveaway. Can you tell us more about that book?

A: Yes, I am! Becoming Nikki is about a girl who has this awful relationship with her brother, and after he loses his memory, she has to figure out whether to let everything stay the same or try to start anew. (Gosh, it’s been forever since I wrote a blurb on that novel. I started writing it when I was fifteen and published it on my twentieth birthday, and I’m turning twenty-two tomorrow*, so it’s been out of my mind for a while. I still love it, though.)
*Here, the interviewer pauses to wish the interviewee a happy birthday and to eat some cake.

N: You have ten seconds to choose your absolute favorite book from your bookshelf. Which one do you grab?

A: I’ve got the Bible app on my phone, so don’t you DARE try to judge me* for not grabbing that! I’d grab The Little Women Letters by Gabrielle Donnelly.  It’s not very well-known, but I’ve recommended it to all of my friends since I read it for the first time a few years ago.  It’s a retelling of Little Women and it’s about finding your way in the world – and it came to me at a time when I was trying to do just that, so it holds a very special place in my heart.  (And then I’d use the remaining six seconds to grab Wonder by R.J. Palacio and Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell.)
*At this point, the interviewer wiggles his fingers judgmentally.

N: We all know being a writer is tough. Where do you find the most support or encouragement to keep going when things get hard?

A: Honestly? Pinterest. I don’t have very many writer friends, and Pinterest encouragement is available 24/7. I use it to brainstorm, I use it to encourage me, and I use it to file away all the ideas I get for later, when I’m in a writing slump or just need something quick to write when I need a creative outlet. It’s amazing and I love it dearly.

N: Have you ever had any fun, unusual, or memorable interactions with your readers? Care to share?

A: Not really… although it’s always great whenever somebody reviews my book (period), but especially whenever someone’s like “There’s no way you’re not a professional ice skater!”  I just smile and say, “Nope. I’ve been ice skating a lot, but I suck!” I love being able to allow my characters to do the things I can’t!

N: Random fun question to wrap up: if you could have written any well-known novel out there, which one would you put your name on? (Don’t worry, the real author won’t feel too bad!)

A: The Harry Potter series – or something like it.  Wouldn’t it be amazing to have written something so universally adored by millions of people, connecting them through their mutual love for it?  #goals


Huge thanks to Ashley for taking the time to share her insights into her writing world! It’s been great fun, and be sure to go follow her blog! In the meantime, have a great day!

Stop, Drop, and Enter this Book Giveaway!

Everyone, stop what you’re doing this instant! (Unless you’re putting out a fire, giving birth, administering CPR, in court, or swimming away from a shark, in which case…carry on).

I’ve teamed up with a group of fabulous independent authors to host a December Book Giveaway. It’s simple: you have a few options for how to enter, and you can do any or all of them for a shot at winning one of eight ebooks! Who doesn’t love free stuff, right?

all-ebooks

Le Fancy Official Giveaway Link (You Know You Want to Click It)

Here’s a list of the Amazon links to each book in case you want more information! I regularly interact with a few of these authors as well, and they’re awesome people, so check out their blogs as well! All links open in new tabs.

Song of the Sword – by Hope Ann

Be Thou My Vision – by Faith Blum

Befriending the Beast – by Amanda Tero

Alen’s War – by Hannah Krynicki

Water Princess, Fire Prince – by Kendra E. Ardnek

The Wings of Antheon – by Ellyana J. Wenceslao

Becoming Nikki – by Ashley Elliott

Where the Woods Grow Wild – by Nate Philbrick (a.k.a. me!)

To get the most out of this giveaway period, which ends in just over two weeks, be sure to follow these folks on social media for upcoming interviews, new releases, and maybe even a pigeon crashing into your window (you never know!). In the meantime, good luck, and have a great day!

Oh, and tell all your friends to participate, too. Seriously, all of them. Even that one kid from grade school you haven’t seen in ten years and only know he’s a ventriloquist apprentice because you saw it on Facebook. Tell him, too.

The Writer’s Life According to The Princess Bride

NaNoWriMo is over! Congratulations if you won (I did!), and congratulations if you did your best but didn’t quite make it, because you still got a lot done. In celebration, let’s take a look at the writer’s life according to everyone’s favorite cult classic, The Princess Bride.

1
When you walk into a bookstore with your family.
2
November 30th at midnight.
3
When the muscle character tries to get a little chatty.
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When someone hands you a gift card for books.

 

4
When you’re not sure why your book hasn’t earned you six figures yet.
5
When your editor suggests ‘cutting this whole scene.’
6
Sometimes your protagonist gets a little whiney…
7
When you leave for the weekend and won’t be writing.
8
When you see people winning NaNoWriMo and it’s not even the middle of November.

It’s December 1st, so rest up and enjoy the start of the month! I’ll be giving my draft some well-earned space for a few days. Then it’s back to the writing grind. In the meantime, have a great day! (Hey!)