Sunshine Blogger Award Tag – Triple Dosage!

Today I’m participating in the always-fun Sunshine Blogger Award Tag. Unlike last time, however, I’ve been tagged by three people recently, so I decided to do a Q&A blitz of sorts. Big thanks to Benita J. Prins, Katelyn Buxton, and S. M. Metzler for the tags! Go follow their blogs and leave them an offering of chocolate and a caffeinated beverage.

Being tagged by three people, however, means I have not ten, but thirty questions to answer, so let’s get right into this!

From Benita J. Prins…

  1. Who is your favorite actor/actress and why? Will Smith or Liam Neeson.
  2. How many languages do you speak well enough to hold a conversation? English, Spanish, Catalonian…so three. Four, if a very simple conversation about the weather in French counts. 
  3. What is the last book you read that you couldn’t put down? The Miss Peregrine series, by Ransom Riggs. 
  4. What is one genre you would never read? Paranormal. Or pure romance. 
  5. Do you have any unique quirks? Haha…yes.
  6. What’s the best book-to-movie adaptation you’ve ever seen? The Lord of the Rings trilogy.
  7. Do you like maps? Yes. Maps are awesome. I was drawing maps before I started writing stories.
  8. How often do you write by hand compared to typing? Not very often, only when I really need to shake things up or concentrate better.
  9. Which author’s books can you never resist picking up? Neil Gaiman.
  10. What is your favorite letter of the alphabet? R, K, A, Y, N, S, in that order.
  11. How much chocolate do you consume on a weekly basis? Not much, if any.

From Katelyn Buxton…

  1. What’s your favorite movie? Oh boy. C.A. Civil War…or The Two Towers…or…
  2. A song that made an impact on you. Mercedes’ Lullaby 
  3. Math or creative writing? Creative writing (how is that even a question?)
  4. Do you have any pets? If so, what are they? If not, what kind of pet would you choose? My family has a Fat Cat and some Fat Fish and a Fat Rabbit.
  5. The last book you read. The Slow Regard of Silent Things (Rothfuss)
  6. What’s your favorite TV show? The Voice.
  7. If you could forget a book and read it over again for the first time, which one would you choose? Why would I want to forget a book?
  8. Do you prefer cold weather or warm weather? Cold. Fall weather is perfection.
  9. What’s your favorite color? Black.
  10. What’s your favorite artist/band? I don’t really have a specific favorite.
  11. What’s your favorite genre in books? Fantasy/adventure.

And from S. M. Metzler…

  1. When did you start blogging? About four years ago (on a different blog).
  2. Name three books that everyone on Earth should read. Fiction books? Not sure. That’s a tough question, and it may not have an answer (gettin’ all philosophical over here). 
  3. Favorite pop music artist and film score composer. Pop music bores me. Koji Kondo. 
  4. Name your three biggest fandoms. MCU, Nintendo (yes), Lord of the Rings.
  5. What is your favorite musical? Pass (sorry…just not that interested in musicals).
  6. Spiderman or Ant-man? Yes, the new Marvel ones. Spiderman all day every day.
  7. What time of day do you write the most? At night, usually, or at least in the evening.
  8. Tea, coffee, hot chocolate, or apple cider? Yes. 
  9. A tagline for the first story you’ve ever written. Boy, that was a long, long time ago.
  10. If your book was going to be made into a movie, is there an actor/actress you’d choose to play your main character? Tom Holland might be a good choice. 
  11. Rey or Princess Leia? Why? Rey, because, uhm, she uses lightsabers and is awesome and has a killer staff-stick thingy. 

Awesome! Now you know 30 things about me you might not have known before. We’re practically best friends. I won’t keep the tag going (sorry!) because anyone I can think if to tag has already been tagged or has tagged me, so I’ll stick to my questions.

The Writer’s Life According to Wallace and Gromit

We’re going way back with this installment. But hey, we’re just crackers about cheese, so it’s all good!

1
When your book gets a bad review.
2
Trying to keep up with NaNoWriMo.
3
What you imagine your first book signing will be like.
4
When the perfect writing weather strikes.
5
Trying to decide what writing beverage to grab.
6
When the words just aren’t happening.
7
When the research starts to get weird.
8
Trying to keep the plot bunnies under control.
9
When you realize nothing good in your story will ever be safe from you.

As usual, none of these gifs belong to me or were created by me. Let’s be real…you know this by now. Have a great day, everyone!

Where the Woods Grow Wild: Read Chapter One

Ladies and gentlemen, the time has finally come to lift the curtain and reveal the final installment in the sneak-peek series for Where the Woods Grow Wild. That’s right, today you get to read the first full chapter.

Today is also the day I send the whole book to my awesome beta readers. I didn’t plan the overlap on purpose, but hey, may as well lump all the nerve-wracking events into one day, right?

Well, I guess I don’t have much else to say. Thank you for your constant enthusiasm and encouragement. Click the link below to access the PDF.


Where the Woods Grow Wild (Chapter One)

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If you enjoy what you read, please feel free to share the link with a friend, coworker, family member, or that nice lady that feeds pigeons in the park. The more, the merrier! (People, not pigeons.)

In the meantime, have a great day!

Where The Woods Grow Wild: Sneak Peek Series Announcement

It’s been some time since I got this excited about a blog post. As many of you know, Where The Woods Grow Wild is nearing completion. I don’t have a release date set yet, but I’ll be pretty surprised if it’s not a bestseller available within the next few months.

A lot of you awesome people here on the blog, as well as Twitter and Facebook, have been expressing excitement about the book. I can’t thank you guys enough! Your support is what keeps my fingers on the keyboard some days.

To tide us all over until the actual release, I’ve decided to do a gradual curtain lift on some of the content in Where The Woods Grow Wild. I hope these reveals generate even more buzz prior to publication (for me as well as you!), and the dates I set will give me that delicate sense of urgency to get the job done.

So what exactly do I have in store?**

August 31st – Synopsis Reveal and Beta Hunting

Starting things off this Wednesday, I’ll be posting the finished synopsis of Where The Woods Grow Wild and asking for beta readers (let the nervous pacing begin). If you think you might be interested in beta-reading but want more info, keep that tab open on Wednesday.

September 7th – Meet the Characters

A week later I’ll introduce you to a handful of the cast members from Where The Woods Grow Wild. You’ll meet the protagonists as well as some of the secondary and side characters.

For each character, you’ll get a glimpse of who they are, what their role in the story is (all spoiler-free, of course!), and some representative dialog lines (those of you who follow my #1linewed and #2bitTues shares on Twitter will probably recognize those lines).

September 9th – Story World Overview

Just two days after you meet the characters you’ll get a glimpse of the story world as well. Expect to see a completed map (perhaps more than one?), my favorite visual inspiration pieces, and an introduction to some important locations. Time to get my tour guide mojo on!

September 14th – Read Chapter One

That’s right, I’m doing it. On the final Wednesday of this series, you get the chance to read the first chapter of Where The Woods Grow Wild. Not gonna lie, it’s one of my favorite chapters, and I’m totally terrified thrilled to share it with you.


By the end of the series I hope to have accomplished two things. First, I want to be that much closer to publication. These shares and reveals will keep me on my toes, and that’s when I’m most productive. Second, I really hope to get you guys pumped about Where The Woods Grow Wild’s release. Gotta be honest, right?

You’ll get tired of me saying this, but I truly am grateful for all the support you’ve shown so far. We’re getting closer to the end goal every day!

In the meantime, mark your calendars and stay awesome! Hope you all have a fantastic weekend.

**Note: regular blog posts will not be interrupted by this series. If you’re just not interested in Where The Woods Grow Wild, no worries! There will still be other content popping up. Stick around! 

101 Lies Writers Tell

They won’t all apply to you, but I guarantee some of them will. (I thought it would be really hard to come up with 101 entries, but once I got the ball rolling…well, let’s just say the list didn’t take long.)


1. I don’t need to write this down.

2. No one will notice this plot hole.

3. I’ll remember that idea in the morning.

4. I can get through this chapter without coffee.

5. I’m a decent proofreader.

6. My friend’s a decent proofreader.

7. That was the last typo.

8. I can write while I watch.

9. Just a quick five-minute Twitter break.

10. No, I don’t actually have a crush on my character.

11. This rewrite should only take an hour or two.

12. I’ll save my snack for when I finish the chapter.

13. Yes, I take a break every hour.

14. That two-star review didn’t bother me.

15. I’m going to write every day this month.

16. I really didn’t enjoy writing the villain’s death scene.

17. Sales aren’t important to me.

18. Yes, you can be in my next book.

19. No, those aren’t tear stains on the page.

20. One red pen should be enough.

21. There’s no way I’ll lose this sticky note.

22. My second draft probably won’t need that much work.

23. I’m super flexible. Interrupt me anytime.

24. Of course I don’t get jealous of other authors’ success!

25. I don’t even pay attention to my follower count.

26. My debut is a bestseller. Didn’t you read my Twitter bio?

27. I’ll only need to print one copy.

28. This Sims character looks great on the cover.

29. I can skip the proof copy.

30. Decaf is fine.

31. Sure, you can read my first draft.

32. My characters don’t mean that much to me.

33. What sketchy Google searches?

34. Parties? Yeah, I can skip writing this weekend.

35. No, I’m not writing down that random couple’s conversation.

36. I’ve never researched assassination methods.

37. No, for real. I #amwriting.

38. I’m just wearing earphones for style. Feel free to talk to me.

39. It doesn’t bother me when crappy books become bestsellers.

40. I don’t daydream what my book would look like as a film.

41. My protagonist has nothing to do with me at all.

42. I value your opinion about what I should write next.

43. This chapter offends you? Let me get rid of that for you.

44. No writing snacks today.

45. My draft will be done by the end of the month, no sweat.

46. I’ve never cried with my protagonist.

47. All my Pinterest boards are public. I don’t keep secrets.

48. Your DM convinced me to buy your book.

49. My work space is always in Instagram condition.

50. I never struggle with self-doubt.

51. Microsoft Word fonts look great on book covers!

52. Sleep trumps writing.

53. I always evaluate writerly quotes before I share them.

54. The world really needs more vampire stories.

55. Shirtless, six-pack dude on the cover? A mark of quality literature for sure.

56. Shampoo commercial babe on the cover? A mark of quality literature for sure.

57. My fantasy book title needs the word ‘Chronicles’ in it somewhere.

58. Every person on earth must love my book or else.

59. I have to get each scene right on the first try.

60. No, I don’t leaf through books just to smell the pages.

61. Writing a book is easy. Anyone can do it.

62. Someone didn’t like my book. I guess I failed as an author.

63. My characters always obey me.

64. Writing is just a hobby. I don’t take it that seriously.

65. My characters must all be gorgeous or no one will like them.

66. Needs more prophecy.

67. Keep spamming your buy links. I’ll probably give in eventually.

68. You have a second cousin who also writes? Of course I’ll email him right away.

69. Anyone could be a bestseller if they just had more time to write.

70. No, I don’t collect rejection letters.

71. The fact that ‘erotica’ exists as a genre doesn’t make me gag.

72. Of course I always follow my own writing advice.

73. I only get on Youtube for research purposes.

74. You self-publish ten books a year? You must be so gifted.

75. No, I’ve never used Jelly Beans as motivation.

76. It’s safe to leave the house without a notebook.

77. It’s safe to leave the house without pens.

78. It’s safe to leave the house.

79. Talk out loud to my characters? Nope.

80. The thousands of writerly advice blog posts I see each day really shape the way I write.

81. That book cover you made with MS Paint looks great.

82. No, I wouldn’t rather live in my story world.

83. I don’t go to coffee shops. I guess I’m not the real deal.

84. I don’t use the latest Mac. I guess I’m not the real deal.

85. Yes, cat. You may sit on my laptop.

86. I regularly take days off.

87. Sure, I can leave this scene half finished. I won’t lose my train of thought.

88. My character’s eye color is always consistent in first drafts.

89. No, none of my character names have real meaning.

90. Needs more love triangle.

91. 99c is a fair price for all the work I put into this book.

92. I don’t need to write today.

93. Noise is fine.

94. I got my opening line right on the first try.

95. I got my opening line right on the second try.

96. I got my opening line right on the fiftieth try.

97. I’m satisfied with my opening line.

98. I read every single free ebook I download.

99. Romance based on physical attraction alone is healthy for readers, right?

100. I’ve never wanted to change my name to something more ‘authorish’.

101. It’s hard to make money as a writer? You’re the first person to warn me about that.

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There’s a confession booth in the back. Feel free to visit.

 

 

 

8 Popular Books I Couldn’t Finish

Everybody has different tastes when it comes to books. I enjoy mine, and you enjoy yours. Nothing wrong with that in the least. But just for kicks and giggles (probably more kicks than giggles), I’ve compiled a list (in no particular order) of eight hyped and/or popular books that everyone else seems to love that I couldn’t even finish.

Disclaimer: this is (obviously) merely my opinion, and yours may (invariably) differ. That’s no reason for anyone to get upset, so let’s all behave like grownups. 

Disclaimer 2: for a book to qualify for this list I have to have at least tried to read it. Therefore, books like Maze Runner don’t count because I know I wouldn’t enjoy it and do not intend to try. I’m just stubborn like that. 

#1 Divergent, Veronica Roth

I’ve tried. Believe me, I have. The first book is sitting on my bookshelf in my room where I see it every day. I’ve picked it up and started the first chapter about five times now. It’s just not happening. I’m sorry, but I find it…boring. There’s no other way I can describe it. I’m sure it gets better, but I haven’t yet been able to make it past the first five or ten pages without losing interest.

#2 The Wheel of Time (Series), Robert Jordan

Anyone who knows me knows how much I love fantasy books. It’s my favorite genre by a mile. But this…I just couldn’t stay awake. Literally, at times. I received the first book as a gift and really gave it my best shot, but it takes. So. Long. To. Get. Moving. I’m patient, normally. I don’t mind investing a few chapters in build-up if the writing keeps my interest. But this…this felt like watching molasses drip down the wall.

#3 Jurassic Park, Michael Crichton

The reason for this one is simple: I’m dumb. You can’t expect me to keep track of so much science mumbo-jumbo. Sorry. I mean, it takes a lot for me not to enjoy a book about dinosaurs running amuck in the present day. But I made it about 100 pages before giving up on Jurassic Park and putting it down. If I had a couple dozen extra degrees in the sciences I’m sure I would have stuck with it.

#4 Mistborn (Series), Brandon Sanderson

I tried so, so hard to get into the Mistborn series. Several good friends have recommended them to me multiple times, and again, fantasy is my favorite genre. I don’t own any of the Mistborn books, but I have had a chance to start reading the first one, and…kind of the same deal as The Wheel of Time. It moved too slow for me and it felt too grand (an odd complaint, I know).

#5 Pretty much any classic novel

I may draw a lot of fire for this one, but give me a book by Mark Twain, William Shakespeare, Charles Dickens, Robert L. Stevenson, Harper Lee, Jane Austen, etc., and I’ll probably just chuck it out the window. I mean no disrespect to the undeniably successful authors of the past, but holy cow these books are a chore.

#6 The Hobbit, J. R. R. Tolkien

I enjoy The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Not my all-time favorite, but they’re a fun read. So I don’t quite understand why I don’t like The Hobbit very much. It’s not the different style, or the simpler plot. It’s just…not my cup of tea.

#7 Prince Caspian, C. S. Lewis

Don’t get me wrong, I like the Chronicles of Narnia (The Horse and His Boy being my favorite of the series). But so many Narnia fans seem to think Prince Caspian is one of the best books, and I just don’t get it. It’s boring. In fact, it’s so boring that I don’t even have anything else to say about it. (Cheating a bit, because I did finish the book, though only out of necessity to continue the series).

#8 Neverwhere, Neil Gaiman

I know this book is probably far less popular than the others on the list, but I’ve included it mostly because of how surprised I was that I didn’t like it. Neil Gaiman is one of my favorite authors. I loved The Graveyard Book, Stardust was a beautiful story, and The Ocean at the End of the Lane is a tear-jerker. So when I bought Neverwhere at the bookstore and only made it through a few pages before utterly losing interest, I was quite shocked and quite a bit more disappointed.


If you made a similar list, what books might be on it? Comment below! And in the meantime, have a great day!

10 Incorrect Assumptions About Writers

Let’s face it, we writers have built something of a reputation for ourselves. I won’t deny my own…unique characteristics, and I know you lot are in the same boat. But that doesn’t mean everything non-writers think about us is necessarily true. In fact, here are some common misconceptions people tend to have about writers that are usually false:

#1 Writers depend on inspiration

In this scenario, I define inspiration as the strong urge to write (as opposed to inspiration from a specific place or person). While inspiration is helpful, serious writers discipline themselves to write regardless of whether or not they’re inspired at the time.

#2 Writing is just a hobby

For a lot of people, it is. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. But people don’t seem to realize that writing can also be a vocation, a life-ambition, and even a full career.

#3 Writers don’t enjoy other people

I don’t think this is the case at all. Sure, we often seclude ourselves to work, and a lot of us are strong introverts. But we still need people. We need friends and loved ones just as much as the next guy.

#4 Anyone can be a writer

False. Not everyone can be a writer. Sure, anyone can pick up a pen and write a two-page story. Pretty much everyone I know has started a novel at some point. But it’s the stubborn dedication to finish that novel that sets apart the writers from the casual dabblers.

#5 Writers only write when they have time

While it’s true that most writers have day jobs and other responsibilities competing for their time, anyone who is serious about their craft will actively carve out time, even in little amounts here and there, to set aside for writing.

#6 Writers are always looking for input

Sorry guys, but writers don’t necessarily need suggestions about their next plot twist or character creation. Of course, we’ll occasionally ask for help (normally from other writers), but for the most part we don’t need to be told what to write about next.

#7 Writers are always depressed

I’m honestly not sure where this belief originated. It’s just not true. Most of the writers I know are the happiest people alive. Granted, maybe we tend to experience emotions more intensely than some others (I’m sure there’s a whole science behind that possibility), but that doesn’t mean we’re always depressed.

#8 Writers base characters on their friends

This one is partially true, because a lot of writers take personality traits from friends or family members and incorporate them into their characters. But it’s false to think every character in a book is a carbon copy of one of the author’s friends.

#9 Writers base the protagonist on themselves

Similarly to the last point, writers don’t actually make themselves the protagonist all the time. As a matter of fact, I’d say we’re trying very hard not to do so. I don’t quite get why so many people ask me “so are you the main character?” when they read my book. Honestly, we’re not even that similar (I hope).

#10 Writers can’t make money

I’ve talked about this before. When I tell people I’m a writer/author, they automatically say something like “oh, but it’s so hard to make a living doing that. What’s your real job?” And while I understand the sentiment, and they’re not technically wrong, I would like to remind everyone that with a lot of hard work and a bit of luck, it is actually possible to earn a basic living writing books.


What assumptions have people made about you when they find out you’re a writer? Are some of them true? Or are you drastically misunderstood? Let me know in the comments below. In the meanwhile, have a great day!