Writing and Me

Self Belief

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I have been inspired to write this post by Al over at Hyperactive Pandemonium. Al’s post about the motivational quotes he relies on to get him through writer’s doubt, got me thinking about my own motivation when it comes to my writing. You can check out Al’s post here: Step Up Saturday.

Other than a love for writing, we must have some motivation, some inkling that we can write a book, edit a book, and publish a book. Mine was a quote: ‘She believed she could, so she did.’ I wrote this quote in the front of my notebook for EVO Nation. For some reason- a reason I still cannot fathom- I knew EVO Nation was the book I was going to complete and self-publish. Before I had even written a word of the first draft, it was the one I had all my determination, motivation and inspiration focussed on.

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I did! And I have since done it again and again.

Anytime self-doubt creeps in, I just dig out my original EVO Nation notebook and look at this quote. It’s hard to not find a sliver of self-belief when I know I have succeeded in something I only dreamed I could do.

Do you have a go to quote or practice to beat self-doubt? Can you pin point the moment your dreams started becoming reality?


Content belongs to K.J. Chapman

Writing Exercises

10 Weeks, 10 Prompts, 10 Minutes #9 (Prompt Me Special)

The purpose of these writing exercises is to take a prompt a week for ten weeks and allow myself ten minutes to expand on it. All the prompts are taken from my writing prompt eBook: Prompt Me.

To check out my list of ten prompts, and maybe have a go yourself, follow this link.  Go with the flow, take the prompt literally, or just allow elements to inspire a totally different story. It is up to you. Link back to me, so I can have a read of your creations.

The Prompt:

“As soon as I admit that someone is my friend they end up dead. So, for all intents and purposes, I don’t like you.”

“No! You don’t get to push me away.”

“And you don’t get to die because of me.”

She throws me aside, but I grip her forearm, forcing her back to face me. “It won’t be because of you, it’ll be for you… always for you.”

I know that look. It’s the look she had her on her face when she kissed me all those months ago. She can try and push the memory from her mind, but it’s the only real thing I remember of the last year. It’s only there for a second before her eyes shadow over and she coughs away her emotion.

“Okay, I can accept that you don’t like me, but look me in the eyes and tell me that you don’t love me,” I say. She looks to her feet. “Tell me, Erin! Tell me and I will walk away. You’ll never have to see me again.” Still she is quiet. Stepping closer to her, I make her meet my eye. “If you say it, you better mean it, because I will walk away if that’s what you want.”

Her breathing is ragged and her chest heaves in air. “Do you love me?” she asks.

“Don’t reflect the question. Why the hell would I have followed you blindly into this madness if I didn’t love you? I’ve been shot, burnt, buried alive, and she asks me if I love her,” I say, a smile pulling at the edge of my mouth.

She scoffs now. “I thought you were just a bit of an idiot.”

“Yeah, that too.”

She steps away, hands me a gun, and marches on. “Well, if you’re coming, you better get your ass moving.”

“Hey! You can’t leave it like that. Tell me you don’t love me, Erin.”

“You said that if I say it, I better mean it.” She glances back over her shoulder and smiles.

It’s not the declaration of love I was hoping for, but it’ll do for now.

 


Content belongs to K.J. Chapman

 

 

 

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Thrown to The Blue Playlist

I’m reblogging this post because the ARCs of Thrown to The Blue have been sent out, and it felt like a good time to revisit my playlist.

I would add two new ones since completing the first draft: Heathens by Twenty One Pilots and The Emperor’s New Clothes by Panic at the Disco.

Writerly Bookish Stuff

Muse-ic

It’s that time again- playlist time. I’m at the 3/4 point of my first draft of Thrown to The Blue, and I decided that it’s time to blog about my playlist for this novel. I’ve been listening to a variety of songs of late, but have whittled it down to a select few that have drawn my attention.

  1. Keaton Henson- Sweetheart What Have You Done to Us? Watch Video.
  2. Bastille- Things We Lost to the Fire Watch Video.
  3. Soundgarden- Blow Up the Outside World Watch Video.
  4. Zedd ft Jon Bellion- Beautiful Now Watch Video.
  5. Of Monsters and Men- Yellow Light Watch Video.
  6. Metallica- Until It Sleeps Watch Video.
  7. Urge Overkill- Girl You’ll Be a Woman Soon Watch Video.
  8. Lynyrd Skynyrd- Free Bird Watch Video.
  9. Nick Jonas ft Tove Lo- Close Watch Video.
  10. Ariana Grande- Dangerous Woman Watch Video.
  11. Damien Rice- Colour Me In Watch Video.
  12. Damien Rice- Delicate

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Thrown to The Blue

Thrown to The Blue Update

Book Review(2)

What a hectic ten days! I have been listening to the comments from my beta readers, choosing what to apply and what to ignore, and editing my eyeballs right out of my head. This morning, I sent the ARCs to my ARC reviewers and I feel like I can breathe a sigh of relief.

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Thrown to The Blue is due for release on Nov 11th, so in just ONE MONTH! Eeekk. You can pre-order copies from Amazon Kindle now. I will probably do one more run through of editing beetween now and then, and my proof-reader will also be proofing my amendments. At least I have two weeks to complete this run through before I have to upload the final copy to Amazon to make good on my pre-orders. I can turn the burners down a little and go snail speed.

Now, what’s on my agenda?

Planning my daughter’s 6th birthday party. Yep, it is the day after release day, and 40 children will be attending. Why do I do these things to myself? It’ll be fine… I think.

Thank you to everyone for your continuing support. If you would like to receive an ARC copy for review, I’m happy to send more out.


Content belongs to K.J. Chapman

GIFs sourced from Giphy.com

Writing Exercises

10 Weeks, 10 Prompts, 10 Minutes #8 (Prompt Me Special)

The purpose of these writing exercises is to take a prompt a week for ten weeks and allow myself ten minutes to expand on it. All the prompts are taken from my writing prompt eBook: Prompt Me.

To check out my list of ten prompts, and maybe have a go yourself, follow this link.  Go with the flow, take the prompt literally, or just allow elements to inspire a totally different story. It is up to you. Link back to me, so I can have a read of your creations.

The Prompt:

They said that I was insane and that I never had a sister. They even went as far as to edit her out of my photographs. I know they did because they missed one- the one I keep in my locket.

They hold us in some kind of secure facility with hundreds of others. We aren’t treated badly, but we aren’t free either. Words such as cure, hope, and future are continuously brandished about, as if words can persuade us to cooperate. If you take away a person’s freedom, you take away their basic human right. Once that’s gone, then it’s a one way street- we’re prisoners and they’re our captors. Cure, hope, and future, feel very very far away.

Every day I ask for Georgina. Every day they say the same thing- ‘she is a figmant of your imagination. An imaginary friend you created as a way to get through the fifteen months you spent on the outside without another soul to talk to.’ Georgina is real. She is not my friend. She is my older sister, and they know more than they’re letting on. Why are these people trying to make me believe I’m crazy?

Jenson, the big boss, enters in his full military get-up; combat clothes, black shiny boots, and cap. He glances around us all like we’re nothing more than rats in his elaborate test, and then he waves his hand to beckon someone into our tent. A teenage boy, similar in age to me, steps into the tent. His hair looks filthy, he has cuts on his knuckles, and his eyes are sunken.

“Tent 98, this is your newest occupant- Harry Mave.” Jenson pushes Harry further into the tent, before leaving without so much as a goodbye.

Harry grips his rucksack to his chest and glances around all of our faces. This isn’t the friendliest tent, and the majority of the occupants are middle aged and have an adversion to kids and teenagers. Finally, after eyeing every inch of him, I call him over to me. The bunk above mine is empty, and hell, it’ll be nice to have someone my age to talk to.

“I’m Nell,” I say, holding out my hand. He looks at it, but doesn’t shake it. “You can have the top bunk.”

“I’m not staying,” he mumbles. “Where are the showers?”

I came in with the same fighting spirit, but that was quickly sucked out of me. “The shower tent is directly behind here. If you have anything of value take it with you.”

Gregory, our resident kleptomaniac growls at me. I just glare back, inviting him to say something. Go on, you scummy thief, so I can make a scene and search your collection for my shoelaces and hair scrunchie.

“I’d stay away from ‘Crazy Baby’ if you want to fit in here,” Gregory warns Harry. The tent gave me that nickname because of Georgina. “Sees things. Hears voices. Fucking nutjob.”

I give Gregory the bird in response. Harry grunts in acknowledgement and heads straight out of the tent. Not missing a beat, I follow him.

“This place is a fortress. You won’t get out,” I call after him. Harry doesn’t even turn back. “I should know. I tried…and tried…and tried.”

“I have people on the outside who need me. Staying here isn’t an option.”

“If they left people behind when they picked you up, it’s because they are infected.”

Now, he spins to face me, anger written all over his face. “Bullshit! My sister was not infected, and they still left her behind. We’re here because we have something they need.”

My heart pangs at the mention of his sister. “What do we have?” I ask.

He shrugs. “Something… I don’t know. Something so important that they tell me that Hannah isn’t real. They’re trying to make me think I’m crazy.”

“They said it to you too?” I grasp my locket, stepping away instinctively.

An arm encloses around my shoulders. “Nell, are you pestering the new boy?” asks Jenson. “Harry, you were placed in the wrong tent- clerical error. Bring your stuff and I’ll take you to Tent 23. It’s the other side of the camp.”

“Away from me you mean?” I ask Jenson. His eyes bore into my soul. “Harry, she’s real. Hannah’s real.” Jenson lifts me from my feet, but I fight with every ounce of my being. “She’s real, Harry. Don’t let them make you forget! Never forget!”

Jenson’s hand encloses over my mouth. “You see why her tent call her ‘Crazy Baby’?” He half laughs, squeezing the air out of my lungs as I kick and wiggle against his torso. “Stop this, Nell. Have you been taking your meds?” More military staff race over, helping Jenson to restrain me. I’m pinned to the floor and injected in the neck with a sedative. Instantly, my body feels heavy.

As Harry is escorted away, he looks over his shoulder at me. “Don’t forget,” I mouth before my eyes close.

***

Someone shakes me awake. My mouth is dry, and my limbs feel stuffed with lead weights. From the musky, body odour stench, I know I’m back in my tent. Gregory snores in the bunk beside mine, and someone farts.

“Nell, wake up,” whispers Harry. I jump fully awake in shock. He covers my mouth with his hand and shakes his head. “Stay quiet.”

I can’t move; the sedation hasn’t fully worn off yet. Harry stuffs my few belongings into my tatty rucksack and swings it onto his shoulder with his own. Then, taking me under the thighs and arms, he lifts me.

The air outside is bitterly cold, and it brings me to my senses a little. Harry skims around the side of the tent, coming to a stop behind our shower tent, and lowers me onto the damp ground. It is a dark night without moonlight, and my eyes have to adjust to see his face in front of mine.

“How?” I ask.

“I’m good at what I do.” He pulls me to sitting, and brushes my tangled hair out of my face. “They call you ‘Crazy Baby’ because Jenson has made you look crazy?”

I nod. “And they’ll do the same to you if you’re not careful.”

“How can I be sure that you’re not just crazy?”

“Why’d you come and steal me from my bed if you thought I was making it up?”

He rolls his eyes. “I need something, Nell. Before I risk my life to get us both out of here, you need to give me something to believe in.”

Pulling my pendant from under my t-shirt, I hold it in my clenched fist. “They edited her out of my photographs. They didn’t just destroy them. I suppose that would make it look like they had something to hide. This way, they can make it look like I just made her up. I didn’t make her up, Harry.”

“Who?”

Taking off my necklace, I hold it out to him. “Everyone thinks this is a pendant, but it’s a locket. They never thought to check it.” Harry feels around for the minute clasp, and opens the delicate locket. He shines his torch over the small picture inside of me and Georgina. “That’s my sister. Her name is–”

“Georgina,” he interrupts. My heart skips a beat. “You are the one I’m here for. Can you walk? We have to get to the back fence by 3am.”

“Wait? What? You know my sister?”

He smiles at me. “You could say that. Georgie is my boss- the leader of the resistance- and we’re getting you out of here.”

“What about your sister? Hannah?”

Harry takes my face in his hands. “I’m an only child. I needed to make sure you were who I thought you were. This is all for you, Helena.” My breath catches in my throat at his use of my full name; a name not even Jenson knows. “Georgie says, ‘sorry she took so long.'”

 


Content belongs to K.J. Chapman

 

 

Picture Prompts, Writing Exercises

Fortnightly Picture Prompts

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Over on my Instagram account, I have posted an inspiring picture that I took on my rambles around Cornwall. I plan on posting a picture every fortnight that inspires me in some way, and invite you to have a pop at writing a sentence or paragraph to accompany it. You can find me on Instagram by following this link.

If you do not have an Instagram account, but would like to join in, you can post your sentence/ paragraph in the comments, and I will feature them in the next Picture Prompt post right here on my blog with links back to you.

So, let’s see this picture, KJ:

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Here is my paragraph inspired by the picture:

‘The map says nothing about a lane or road in this part of the woods. The lock is new, but the fencing looks as if it has been here for some time. The wet mud preserves boot prints; someone has walked up there, but there are no boot prints to show that they have come back out.’


Content belongs to K.J. Chapman

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Book Reviews, Books and Me

Review: Book of Birds by L.M.Bryski

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Book of Birds by L.M.Bryski 4/5

14593634_1293690237349057_881885073_nIn post-war Canada during the late 1940s, Elly McGuinty and her younger sister, Dot, are newly orphaned. The girls are sent to live with their grandparents in a small prairie town. Still grieving the loss of her parents, Elly chafes at the responsibility of helping care for Dot and struggles to find a place for herself in her new life. When a travelling circus comes to town, Elly’s desire for new experiences leads her, Dot, and new friend Stammer – a shy boy mocked for his halting voice – down a path where lives are altered forever.

Thanks go to the author for giving me a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

Review:

I wasn’t sure what to expect when going into this book. It is not my usual reading genre, but that being said, if something is written well and captures my attention, then I’m all in. Book of Birds was one such book.

The writing effortlessly captures the essence of post war Canada and the lifestyle of two orphan girls having to uproot and live with grandparents. The narrative reads smoothly, and you are transported in time to the late 1940’s, seeing the world through Elly’s eyes. Bryski has truly captured the mind and voice of a young child in her writing.

Hard topics are well handled and interwoven with plot twists and secrets that corrupt the town. There is something bubbling away just under the surface that is expertly introduced in some shocking and heartbreaking moments. This book isn’t fast paced, but that didn’t matter. Bryski’s writing style fully submerges you as a reader. It feels as if you are plunged into the story and are the eyes over Elly’s shoulder so to speak.

The title, ‘Book of Birds’, refers to a bird encyclopedia that Elly clings to for comfort and as a link to her past. It also refers to Elly’s own journey as her life changes forever.


The opinions expressed here are those of K.J.Chapman and no other parties

All books reviewed on this blog have been read by K.J.Chapman

K.J.Chapman has not been paid for this review

 

Books and Me

If You Like… The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

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The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Blurb: The nation of Panem, formed from a post-apocalyptic North America, is a country that consists of a wealthy Capitol region surrounded by 12 poorer districts. Early in its history, a rebellion led by a 13th district against the Capitol resulted in its destruction and the creation of an annual televised event known as the Hunger Games. In punishment, and as a reminder of the power and grace of the Capitol, each district must yield one boy and one girl between the ages of 12 and 18 through a lottery system to participate in the games. The ‘tributes’ are chosen during the annual Reaping and are forced to fight to the death, leaving only one survivor to claim victory.

When 16-year-old Katniss’s young sister, Prim, is selected as District 12’s female representative, Katniss volunteers to take her place. She and her male counterpart Peeta, are pitted against bigger, stronger representatives, some of whom have trained for this their whole lives. , she sees it as a death sentence. But Katniss has been close to death before. For her, survival is second nature.

Nano Contestant #1 (Novella) by Leif Sterling

Blurb: In 2114, Pinnacle Corporation, the world’s largest tech company, hosts the Tech Games to showcase the world’s latest technology. The contestants must battle it out in 11 brutal games to ultimately win a $100 million prize!

These digital and hybrid athletes must use everything at their disposal in order to take that prize and all of its glory in the Tech Games.

Hacking, firewalls and electronic countermeasures are all being used by each contestant while running and fighting at top speed. It’s all on the line, because nothing is being left on the table!


Content belongs to K.J.Chapman

Blurbs sourced from Goodreads.com

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EVO Nation by KJ Chapman | Book Review

What a lovely review to wake-up to!

The lovely Jasmine over at Ecrits du Coeur has reviewed EVO Nation, and I simply had to reblog this fab, insightful review. I’m always thrilled to hear someone has loved my book enough to give it 5*. It’s a happy author day for me today.

Écrits du coeur

Hello, everyone!!!

I’m super happy to be here with you today because I get to talk about books! This past week, I had multiple doctor’s visits and hospital visits (I’m fine and I’ll tell you more about all of that at the end of this post!) and while waiting, I decided to read this book! If you wanna know what I thought about it, keep on reading!

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Title: EVO Nation

Author: K.J. Chapman

Published: K.J. Chapman

Edition: 2016 ebook

My rating: *****/***** (5/5)

5starsThe government tortures her, her own kind use her, and she is learning the true meaning of ulterior motives. Teddie Leason has been dragged into the festering underbelly of the secretive world of EVO; a world about to be blown wide apart. EVO are the next link in evolution, but with that title come the dangers of capture, torture, and experimentation. And with that threat come the…

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Book Reviews

Review: Train to the Edge of the Moon by Asper Blurry

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Train to the Edge of the Moon by Asper Blurry 4/5

Punk is no ordinary girl who takes the life as it is. She has a nasty habit of getting in troubles, she shows the middle finger to people’s prejudice and stupidity, fights against her broken identity and the corporation where she works. She always goes against the stream with her heavy, tight shoes, but still tries to be a better person. Punk’s adventurous journey to become a poet starts in a Place Without a Name, continues in Italy and London. Her train is full of laughs, reflections, occasional heartbreaks and modern tales about our young lives and complicated relationships. You will probably love and hate Punk at the same time, but it will be difficult to forget about her wild side of the moon.

Thanks goes to the author for giving me a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

Train to the Edge of the Moon is due for release on October 8th 2016.

Review:

Punk is a whirlwind of drinking, sex, identity issues, and has a habit of making destructive choices. The poet is stagnating in her home ‘a place without a name’, and flees to find herself, or find anything- something, in Italy and London. The Train to the Edge of the Moon follows Punks wild, dangerous, and sometimes heartbreaking journey of complicated loves and life lessons.

This is a tricky review to write and not because I didn’t like the book, but because it is hard to sum up the essence of the book in few paragraphs. From the start I knew that Blurry’s writing style is undoubtedly unique and contemporary. The raw, bluntness in narrative and dialogue could come off as jarring, but adds to the tone of the book. I felt like I was privvy to something new and fresh. Punk’s edgy and destructive train of thought is captured perfectly.

The relationships are handled honestly and with raw abandon. While there are times that you hate and love Punk, you are always drawn to Puzzle and Bunny. They are both strong supporting characters who care about the disaster that is Punk. The only time you glimpse the real, damaged, honest Punk, is when she is with the two of them. Puzzle is a particularly important character, and some may see her as a wet blanket for putting up with the way Punk treats her, but I see her as a caring, loving, devoted person, who puts Punk’s feeling above her own. Such qualities make for a strong individual.

If you’re looking for a totally fresh writing style with complicated characters, blunt honesty, and an edgy narrative, then this is the book for you.


The opinions expressed here are those of K.J.Chapman and no other parties

All books reviewed on this blog have been read by K.J.Chapman

K.J.Chapman has not been paid for this review

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