Calling All #Tampa Area #YA #Writers

WANTED

Are you a writer? An aspiring writer? Do you write YA or New Adult? Do you live in the Tampa region? 

Would you like to be part of a writing group designed specifically for those genres? 

Are you curious about the ins and outs of the publishing process? From drafting to querying to publication and everything that comes between?

If you answered yes to these questions, we would love to meet you! 

For those of you who follow this blog, you know that I’m a reader, and a writer. I’ve been working hard on my WIP and intend to query next month. 

My friend, Ginger, and I are looking for fellow writers who are focused and aim to go through the whole hellish process with the ultimate goal of publication. 

We’d love to sprint, critique, hang out, and embrace all things writing. If you’re in the region and looking to get serious about your writing goals, we would love to motivate and cheer you on. 

If you’re interested, please comment or shoot me an email at yabookmadness@gmail.com

Looking forward to talking to you,

Jordan

When to Let an Idea Go

The short and sweet version of this post is: never. 

I’m a firm believer in the power of ideas and that there is no such thing as an idea that is ALL bad or can’t be reformed or edited to become something better or even incredible. 

Like most things, ideas are a bare minimum, a foundation, if you will, to build off and craft into something bigger, clearer, and more precise. 

Think of ideas like Legos. 

One Lego by itself is not all that impressive. Seriously, what can you even do with one Lego? But when you add in Legos of different sizes, colors, and shapes, you can build something amazing. The best thing about Legos (ideas) is that you can take them apart, rebuild, and shift them around into something different until you create something you can fall in love with. 

Ideas aren’t nailed down, limited, or cemented into a final form. They aren’t sculptures and even sculptures can be broken, keep that in mind. The only limitations on ideas are those we place on ourselves. We think that ideas have to be binary. One thing or another, but with time and care, they transform into something magical. 

Okay, if the Lego analogy hasn’t won you over, how about Stephen King?

If you’ve read On Writing (if not YOU SHOULD GO GET IT RIGHT NOW), you may remember a section on character creation. Stephen King and many writers (people, let’s not limit) constantly get ideas for characters, whether it’s in the shower, inspired by an image or a person on the street. Those inklings are fuel for future projects. WRITE THEM DOWN. Put in on a phone memo, pop open a notebook, whether it’s a handful of keywords or a full on description, put it on paper/virtual paper. Stephen King puts his on notecards and saves them for later. He picks them out of the box at random and writes. Um…that’s something I can totally get behind and how fun is that?

Alright, I’m not just here to spout Stephen King’s wisdom, I swear I have a point. Stephen King’s tips on characters can also apply to ideas. Write them down. Come back to them later if you want. Store them in a cute index card holder. Whatever. OR nurture them. Deliberate. Think of how you can develop those ideas. Don’t be afraid to be extremely detailed or only have a bare bones idea. Writing, getting it down on paper alone, will help with that development. 

Ideas are transformative. Don’t throw them away. Save them, shape them, build on them until they become something you can work with, something you can be proud of. You don’t have to use them right away or ever use them, but having them there, chilling out is a comfort in itself. 

I can’t tell you how many times people have told me to give up on ideas. I used to get mad. Because who can understand your ideas, your process better than you can? But I realized that not everyone is the same. Some people believe that letting go is helpful and if that’s you, do what is BEST and true for you. I am not that person and I also think that people should always weigh their options and make decisions that will be best for themselves. You do you. 

Always,

Jordan

Accountability

Let’s talk about accountability. Writing accountability. Today, I’ve decided (I know) to write. Really write. Not stare at the screen and write horrible sentences just to have something and then delete them because not only is that annoying, but it’s a waste of “me”.

Part of me feels like I should hold myself accountable, and don’t get me wrong, you should, you need to, and you should want to. But I also feel like accountability is both easier and way more scary if someone else is checking in on you. Easier because when you know someone is going to ask (and if you are honest) then you might try just a little harder to meet goals. Scary because you might fail.

I also have way too much writing sitting around…taking up space on my desktop. I love them, I want them, I feel like I’m neglecting them. But…if you have read to this point, I WOULD LOVE for for someone…anyone to be that person. The one that schedules (can you do this…I think you can) a text that says…are you writing because if not get on that.

Really what I want to get back to is writing for me. Because I’m stubborn, because I’m going to do what I want to, and because people telling me what I should or should not be doing is kind of grating…you see the dilemma.

Honestly, I don’t know 100% what I want, I’m figuring it out, and part of that process is trying new methods and discovering what works for me.

That being said, I’m going to write. If you want to shoot me a comment (or email) later and ask me how I did, I’d love to chat about it. I would also be that person for you, if you want that.

Another thought, excuse my sporadic mind, making deals with yourself. For me, if I write IDK let me set the bar low today 500 words plus, I can watch Shark Week.

-Rambler out.

UPDATE: So far (I posted this on the Facebook page first) I’ve written 300 words in my 20 minute sprint. It seems small, but they’re good words, they’re the right words, and they’re exactly what I needed to set the tone for the next chapter. I deleted an entire chapter prior to my sprint because…let me be real, those words SUCKED. Here’s the thing. You can’t be afraid to get rid of something that isn’t working. That’s how you write yourself into a corner and end up pushing aside the manuscript. It’s hard to slice and dice the words while writing, but sometimes it’s necessary to move forward. And yes, it’s terrifying watching all the words disappear. If you’re worried, save the words you’re cutting in a different doc for later. I’ve found that once they’re gone and when I go back (just out of curiosity) to check them out pages later, that I never needed them in the first place and in fact, they made the story weaker. 

Let’s Talk Shop

It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything besides reviews, promos, etc. And while the response has been fantastic, I would like to first, know a little bit more about my readers. Who are you? Tell me about you and what you like to read. I will use that to make sure that I include what you’re interested in on here.

What would you like to see more of on the blog?

What are some issues you think need to be addressed? Is it hard to find contact information? Would it be better if I added a different or more social media networks?

Would you like to talk about writing?

For those of you who don’t know, I’m a writer. I’m constantly working on new stories and I’d be very interested in knowing what you think is missing in YA. What would you like to see more of? What would you like to see less of? What annoys you? What do you love?

Writing is a struggle. Sticking to schedules, factoring in life, it can be a chaotic, crazy mess. I know that for me, as a freelance writer/editor/all things related to books that I am constantly swamped with edits and fact checking and research and managing everything that needs to get done (thank you for planners right?). 

Would you like to talk about those struggles or my own writing issues? Would you like help in your own process? 

Comment or shoot me an email about WHATEVER. I want to make this blog more helpful and insightful. Send me your thoughts!

Always,

Jordan

Book Blitz: Bound by Prophecy-Stormy Smith

Title Announcement: Bound Series Book 3 by Stormy Smith

Today, Stormy Smith released the name of the third book in her highly anticipated Bound series and we’ve got the scoop!

Introducing….

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If you haven’t picked up Bound by Duty or Bound by Spells, you’re going to want to jump on those now!

Nominated for Best Book hangover in the UtopYA 2015 awards!
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Goodreads/Amazon

cooltext1889161239 copyAmelia grew up in a world of half-truths. She knows she’s an Elder, but has no idea what that means. Her father reminds her daily that she must maintain control, but he refuses to explain why. Even worse, she’s betrothed to the prince of the Immortals and doesn’t even know his name.

Finally breaking free to live a few normal years at a community college, the last thing Amelia expects is to find her best friend in a cheeky southern girl, or fall for a self-assured human who sees her for who she is, not what she will become.

As she learns more about herself, Amelia realizes the line between love and duty is a thin one. As her power continues to increase exponentially and her questions are slowly answered, Amelia must make the ultimate choice. The question is, will her head win the battle, or her heart?

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cooltext1889161239 copyAidan Montgomery hadn’t been prepared for Amelia Bradbury to walk in and then out of his life. He also hadn’t expected to find the powerful magic hidden deep within him for the last nineteen years, but he’s embracing it — finding more control and more answers every day. Now, with the help of Amelia’s best friend, Bethany, Aidan is on a quest to understand his destiny and find Amelia.

Amelia decided to stand by her duty, which meant walking away from her first chance at love. Trapped in Cresthaven at the Queen’s mercy, she spends her days with Micah — an ally she still holds at arm’s length — struggling to manage her heartbreak while keeping her mind focused on the task at hand. As she continues to unlock the secrets of the Keeper power, Queen Julia’s true motives reveal themselves, forcing Amelia to decide, yet again, how much she’s willing to sacrifice.

Will Aidan get to Amelia before it’s too late, or will the very power that sustains them keep them apart?

Bound by Spells released March 19, 2015 and has been consistently praised for the dual point of view storytelling, as being better than Bound by Duty, and a book no one can put down! In lieu of potential spoilers in the description, take a look at what fans and bloggers are saying:

Serena Chase, from USA Today’s Happy Ever After blog said, “Featuring a cast of mages and shapeshifters with unique magical abilities, one destiny-shaping prophecy, a genocidal megalomaniac, and a budding, heated romance (or two!), this book is paranormal gold! Read the first book in the series first, of course, but once you finish this one you’re sure to be salivating for the next release in this not-to-be-missed romantic paranormal series.”

Megsandherbooks said, “I absolutely could not put this down…the lies, the deception, and the never ending struggle to find the truth had me on the edge of my seat eagerly flipping (er… tapping) to get to the next page…If you are a lover of unique stories filled with magic, shifters, action, suspense, friendship, and delusional power hungry villains you MUST one-click this baby!!!”

Fan Jolene Buchheit said, “There were moments when I had chills and moments where my heart was racing. When I turned the last page I was angry, because I can’t wait for book 3!”

 

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Stormy Bio Pic

Stormy Smith is the author of the Amazon best seller, Bound by Duty, and Bound by Spells. She calls Iowa’s capital home now, but was raised in a tiny town in the Southeast corner of the state. She grew to love books honestly, having a mom that read voraciously and instilled that same love in her. She knew quickly stories of fantasy were her favorite, and even as an adult gravitates toward paranormal stories in any form. Writing a book had never been an aspiration, but suddenly the story was there and couldn’t be stopped. When she isn’t working on, or thinking about, her books, Stormy’s favorite places include bar patios, live music shows, her yoga mat or anywhere she can relax with her husband or girlfriends.

Facebook/Twitter/Instagram/GoodReads/Get teasers and sneak peeks on her website

Keep reading,

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Intern for Elephantine Publishing & Call for Submissions

While sharing marketing tips and discussing cover art, independent authors Amanda Aksel and Heather Hildenbrand came to the same conclusion; wouldn’t it be great if there was a publishing house that offered all the resources of traditional publishing, while still allowing the creative freedom of independent publishing? They set out to create their vision, and Elephantine Publishing was born.

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Elephantine is a collaborative publisher. Their goal is to partner with authors to turn a love of writing into a successful career for years to come. They work side by side with authors through every step of the publishing process to create a unique and professional title to share with the world. Using strategic marketing, Elephantine provides their authors with industry tools and resources to build readership and grow sales.

Elephantine’s aim is simple: To provide access to all stories worth telling, whether or not the words fit into a neatly labeled box. Words that resonate in your bones. Stories you’ll never forget.

How can you get involved in this new publishing movement?

  1. Authors, become a part of the herd!

We’re looking for stories you’ll never forget in the following genres:

Young Adult contemp that deals with hard issues, YA PNR, New Adult contemp/paranormal, & Women’s Fiction

Read the guidelines and submit your query.

 

  1. Bloggers, join our Official Elephantine Blogger Team and help share covers and request ARCS/post reviews! Sign up here.
  1. Elephantine is looking for an INTERN!

We are looking for a small team to contribute 2-5 hours per week. In exchange, you’ll:

  1. Learn the publishing industry (whether its marketing or the literary development side) from the inside!
  2. Build your resume so that you can use your time with us as a stepping stone to more opportunities as your expertise increases!
  3. Have the unique opportunity to work one on one with an innovative new business model

Submit your resume to elephantinepublishing@gmail.com

We look forward to hearing from you!

Sounds like an amazing opportunity, I might apply myself 😉

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One Lovely Blog Award

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I’ve just been nominated by Brin over @ Brin’s Book Blog for the One Lovely Blog Award. I’m so flattered and completely psyched about this award. Thank you, Brin, for the nomination and your kind words about my blog. To all of my readers, thank you for sticking with my blog, for reading, for coming back. With so many blogs out there it’s wonderful to know that you enjoy the blog and it really validates everything I do. I love spreading the word about new releases for both Indies and traditionally published authors and my real goal is to match you lovely readers up with books that you may not have heard of but can fall in love with. Blogging is so rewarding, it connects you with people from all over the world through a shared love of subjects-in this case, books. I have grown to know some of you and befriend you, and if you ever just want to chat about books, don’t hesitate to comment, email, tweet, or find me on Facebook. I’m always around to gush about new book boyfriends or old ones 😉 I’m honored that authors, publishers, and publicity agencies have put their faith in me to get these books out in the world to readers just like you. It’s incredible the response and the genuine hearts of some many people I never would have met if not for this blog. So from the bottom of my heart thank you, Brin and all the people who make this blog as awesome as it is 🙂

The rules for this nomination are:

  • You must thank the person who nominated you and include a link to their blog.
  • You must list the rules and display the award.
  • You must add 7 facts about yourself.
  • You must nominate 15 other bloggers and comment on one of their posts to let them know they have been nominated.
  • You must display the award logo and follow the blogger who nominated you.

7 facts about me:

  • I’m terrified of space and the ocean. Vast, unknown spaces creepy me out to the point of hyperventilating. However, I love aliens-books, movies, tv series- and sharks.
  • I speak Russian and some French in addition to English. I adore Russian culture and literature especially. My top books are Russian classics like Dostoevsky and Tolstoy. My favorite is Zamyatin.
  • I have a Master’s in Russian and East European studies, would love to work for a nonprofit in something like battling religious intolerance or human trafficking. I want to make the world a safer place.
  • I am more than half way done with my first novel, though I have several stories in the works.
  • My favorite color is burnt orange. Though many things I own are in various shades of reds and oranges. I currently have on a burnt orange tank top, my toes are painted Times Square Orange, and MacBook hardcase is a neon orangey-red. Also, my Starbucks iced coffee is tinted red because of 2 pumps of raspberry syrup. It’s a little obsessive.
  • I love to be informed. I’m constantly reading the news or Googling things. Whatever questions that pop into my head, I immediately look up. Therefore, I’m sort of a walking encylopedia of randomness. Like, today for instance, I got into a conversation about the origins of saying “bless you” after someone sneezes. Did you know people originally said “thanks be to Jupiter”? Fascinating stuff.
  • I have a thing for the underdog. When people ship one guy, I almost always pick the other. Jacob Black was wayyyyyy better than Edward. Although…Maxon was the better choice for America, someone else can keep Aspen.

Blogs I am nominating:

Thank you again and feel free not to accept the nomination, don’t feel obligated.

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