Guest Post: Brooding YA Hero

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Hello everyone! Today I am participating with the Sunday Street Team and the illustrator Linnea Gear! Below is the guest post.

Guest Post:

How do you come up with character designs? Do the designs match the character’s personality? 

Designing characters is my favorite thing to do because you can literally incorporate anything you want. The designs always match the characters personality and that’s what makes it so amazing! It’s why I love drawing people in general, because every person is so different. They can be tall or short, big or thin.

Do they have tattoos, piercings, scars, or a disability? What does their hair look like, what is their background, do they have gap teeth? It is all so much fun to do! Pinterest is also great place to get character design ideas. Here are some of my favorite:

Fatima 1

Fatima 2

 

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Guest Post: Gray Wolf Island

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Hello everyone! Today I am participating with the Sunday Street Team and Tracey Neithercott to bring you a guest post! Below is the Tracey’s answer to my question. 

Guest Post:

What’s you’re writing process as an author?

I love reading about other authors’ writing processes because in the back of my mind I think, “That’s how
I’m going to do things from now on!”

I’m going to write 5,000 words a day.

I’m going to ignore my inner editor.

I’m going to do it all with shiny, Pantene-perfect hair.

Let’s face it: I never, ever have shiny, Pantene-perfect hair. And my process is much less glamorous. It starts with a lot of staring miserably at a blank screen and gradually progresses to grumblings about the pure pain of writing a first draft.

I’ll begin with a disclaimer: I’m not the sort of writer who sees double rainbows and snuggly puppy dogs while drafting. Actually, that’s a lie. I do see those things, but only because I’m procrastinating by scrolling through Tumblr.

So I do everything I can to get myself into the writing headspace. I make a latte or three meant to energize me and/or allow me to procrastinate writing for two more minutes. I put on a sheet mask, because if I can’t have bouncy, shampoo-commercial hair, I can at least try for glowing skin.

As you can see, much writing is happening. To make it go faster, I’ll turn on my Brainwaves app, plug in my earbuds, and let the sound induce the right Brainwaves for a creative state of mind. This is something I used to roll my eyes at before returning to my hard work of staring at the blank screen. Now, though, I’m pretty convinced it helps me get into the writing mode.

I let my brain waves do their syncing thing, pull off the sheet mask, and marvel at my glowy skin. Then I take a sip of latte and start writing.

I do a lot of preplanning, mostly because I enjoy outlining but also because I’m a type A writer who needs to be in control. By the time I start writing, I have a roadmap for the story, including major story points—the inciting incident, midpoint, plot points, climax, and so on—plus the main scenes that connect them.

But sometimes it’s hard (or always it’s hard), so I’ll make another latte and stare at the screen and wonder whether I can shake the story from my brain like water from my ear. (I can’t.)

When the words really won’t come, I create a scene sketch: major events, character arc, setting, and bits of dialogue. It’s enough direction to get me going.

It goes on and on like that for weeks and months and what feels like centuries until, blessedly, I peel off a sheet mask and get to revise.

Now I really do see double rainbows and snuggly puppy dogs.

I don’t need sheet masks or glowing skin because I am on fire. And people on fire don’t waste time lining up mask eye holes.

Instead, I sit down at my computer and make a list of everything wrong with my book. This isn’t hard to do. I’ve been keeping the list in my head since page one.

And that’s how it goes: Working from biggest changes to sentence-level edits, I move through the manuscript until it’s polished. This is fueled by lattes, yes, but also decaf green tea because it’s less expensive and also more practical for nighttime writing.

Sometimes, I’m happy for my process. Like during revisions, when I’m tidying things up and finally seeing the book I imagined in the beginning. Other times I hate it—during those days words won’t come or when they’re the wrong words, or when I feel like the vision in my head doesn’t match the story on the page. But it’s like my critique partner jokes: “Get used to it. We can’t change our process.”

Review: These Ruthless Deeds

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These Ruthless Deeds by: Tarun Shanker and Kelly Zekas

Rating: 2 of 5 Stars

England, 1883. Still recovering from a devastating loss, Evelyn is determined to use her powers to save other gifted people from those who would harm them. But when her rescue of a young telekinetic girl goes terribly wrong, Evelyn finds herself indebted to a secret society devoted to recruiting and protecting people like Evelyn and her friends.

As she follows the Society’s orders, healing the sick and embarking on perilous recruitment missions, Evelyn sees her problems disappear. Her reputation is repaired, her friends are provided for, and her parents are newly wealthy. She reunites with the dashing Mr. Kent and recovers the reclusive Mr. Braddock (who has much less to brood over now that the Society can help him to control his dangerous power). But Evelyn can’t help fearing the Society is more sinister than it appears…

Beware spoilers ahead!

This book was such a disappointment. I really enjoyed the first book in this series. It was fun, exciting, and entertaining. I was looking forward to finding out more about this world and the characters. Unfortunately this book surfers middle book syndrome.

Evelyn and crew end up joining the society of aberrations. They discover more secrets and such. First of I honestly don’t understand why Evelyn joined the society in the first place?! I understood everybody else’s reasoning but not Evelyn. It didn’t even feel believable when she did end up joining them.

Evelyn felt completely different from the first book. She was extremely selfish throughout the entire book. She didn’t stand up for herself around her parents. And she bossed everyone around like she actually knew what she was doing. I also did not like how she kept so many secrets under the guise of protecting everyone.

To a certain degree I understand why she acted the way she did. The authors just didn’t make it believable or foreshadow it in the previous book. Yes she went through a lot in the previous book, but nobody becomes a whole other person just like that.

Just like the previous book this was very fast paced. But not a whole lot happened. You are introduced to new characters and some of the things we learned were quite interesting. There was a lot of finding out running around and getting caught.

The romance was very annoying in this book. Evelyn’s parents are even more awful in this book then they were in the previous book. And it’s just to move the plot along. The first thing Evelyn’s parents do after not seeing her in months is get her into society and hopefully engaged. Like seriously?! How about a ‘How have you been?’ or a heart-to-heart! But no they care far too much about their reputation then their own children.

I skimmed most of this book. I just couldn’t bring myself to read it and I also wanted to figure out when things would start actually happening. It wasn’t until towards the end of this book that there was a plot. By that point I stopped caring.

The only thing I liked in this book was the banter. At least that didn’t change. I did laugh out loud a few times as well. Unfortunately that was not enough to save the book.

Overall I did not enjoy this book. I will not be continuing the series. I don’t recommend this series.