Book Reviews, Books and Me

If you like… Cell by Stephen King

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Cell by Stephen King

Blurb: Mobile phones deliver the apocalypse to millions of unsuspecting humans by wiping their brains of any humanity, leaving only aggressive and destructive impulses behind. Those without cell phones, like illustrator Clayton Riddell and his small band of “normies,” must fight for survival, and their journey to find Clayton’s estranged wife and young son rockets the book toward resolution.

Fans that have followed King from the beginning will recognize and appreciate Cell as a departure–King’s writing has not been so pure of heart and free of hang-ups in years (wrapping up his phenomenal Dark Tower series and receiving a medal from the National Book Foundation doesn’t hurt either). “Retirement” clearly suits King, and lucky for us, having nothing left to prove frees him up to write frenzied, juiced-up horror-thrillers like Cell.

The Girl with all the Gifts by M.R.Carey

Blurb: Melanie is a very special girl. Dr. Caldwell calls her “our little genius.”

Every morning, Melanie waits in her cell to be collected for class. When they come for her, Sergeant Parks keeps his gun pointing at her while two of his people strap her into the wheelchair. She thinks they don’t like her. She jokes that she won’t bite, but they don’t laugh.

Melanie loves school. She loves learning about spelling and sums and the world outside the classroom and the children’s cells. She tells her favorite teacher all the things she’ll do when she grows up. Melanie doesn’t know why this makes Miss Justineau look sad.


Content belongs to KJ.Chapman

Blurbs and book images sourced from Goodreads.com

Books and Me

If you like… The Golden Compass

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The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman

Blurb: Here lives an orphaned ward named Lyra Belacqua, whose carefree life among the scholars at Oxford’s Jordan College is shattered by the arrival of two powerful visitors. First, her fearsome uncle, Lord Asriel, appears with evidence of mystery and danger in the far North, including photographs of a mysterious celestial phenomenon called Dust and the dim outline of a city suspended in the Aurora Borealis that he suspects is part of an alternate universe. He leaves Lyra in the care of Mrs. Coulter, an enigmatic scholar and explorer who offers to give Lyra the attention her uncle has long refused her. In this multilayered narrative, however, nothing is as it seems. Lyra sets out for the top of the world in search of her kidnapped playmate, Roger, bearing a rare truth-telling instrument, the alethiometer. All around her children are disappearing—victims of so-called “Gobblers”—and being used as subjects in terrible experiments that separate humans from their daemons, creatures that reflect each person’s inner being. And somehow, both Lord Asriel and Mrs. Coulter are involved.

The Golden Compass (also known as Northern Lights) is the first in His Dark Materials Series.

Sabriel by Garth Nix

Blurb: Sent to a boarding school in Ancelstierre as a young child, Sabriel has had little experience with the random power of Free Magic or the Dead who refuse to stay dead in the Old Kingdom. But during her final semester, her father, the Abhorsen, goes missing, and Sabriel knows she must enter the Old Kingdom to find him. She soon finds companions in Mogget, a cat whose aloof manner barely conceals its malevolent spirit, and Touchstone, a young Charter Mage long imprisoned by magic, now free in body but still trapped by painful memories. As the three travel deep into the Old Kingdom, threats mount on all sides. And every step brings them closer to a battle that will pit them against the true forces of life and death — and bring Sabriel face-to-face with her own hidden destiny.

With Sabriel, the first installment in the Abhorsen trilogy, Garth Nix exploded onto the fantasy scene as a rising star, in a novel that takes readers to a world where the line between the living and the dead isn’t always clear — and sometimes disappears altogether.

Sabriel is the first of the Abhorsen Series.


Opinions and Content Belongs to KJ.Chapman

Writing and Me

Why Are ARCs Important?

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Whether you’re traditionally published or self-published, advanced reader copies (ARCs) of your edited manuscript are important. Here is why…

What is an ARC:

ARC is the shortened term for ‘advanced reader copy’. An ARC is a copy of your work that you send out to a group of readers ahead of your publication date.

Note: an ARC copy is not the same as a beta copy. Beta Copies are usually sent out before the final edit to garner constructive feedback during the editing process. ARCs are edited, finished copies of your work that are ready for publication.

Why send an ARC:

  1. ARC reviewers can offer honest feedback before your book is even on the market. You can get a good idea on how well your work has been received
  2. Free promotion. ARC readers tend to be reviewers. Having reviews on blogs, Goodreads, and social media etc is brilliant promotion before publication.  Authors need reviews, plain and simple.

When to send an ARC:

Of course, it would not be an ARC if it wasn’t received in advance of the publication date, however, there are differing opinions as to how early to send an ARC. I have received ARCs up to seven months before publication, and some within two weeks of the release date. Ultimately, it is the choice of the author/publisher. I would not advise sending unedited ARCs, but again, that is personal preference, but please be fair in your time allowance. Give the reader enough time to read and review your work comfortably, unless they specifically agree to last minute reads. 4-8 weeks before publication is acceptable for sending ARCs (especially indie books/ eBooks).

How to find ARC readers:

ARC readers are everywhere, you just have to know where to look for them.

  1. Blog: If you have a blog, do a shout out for ARC readers and reviewers.
  2. Twitter: Write a tweet requesting ARC readers. OR search hashtags such as #bookbloggers #bookreviewer #bookblog etc. You can DM or find blog links to reviewers in your genre.
  3. Social media: Post requests for ARC readers and reviewers on all your platforms.
  4. Research: Use search engines to find book blogs etc. Most book bloggers have review policies for you to study.
  5. Netgalley: You can pay a fee to have your ARC signed up to Netgalley.com. Members can request copies of your work to review.
  6. Friends: Send out copies to honest friends. Make sure they will give you a review. The more reviews the merrier.

Keeping ARC readers for future use:

Once you have found ARC readers, you ideally want to keep them.

  1. Always thank them for reviews, even if it is not the 5* review you wanted!
  2. Reblog/ share their reviews and links. Not only does this help you, but it helps them get traffic to their platforms.
  3. Build a list of trusted reviewers. Ask all of your ARC readers if you can call on them in the future. Avid readers are a valuable assets to all authors.

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Thrown to The Blue, Writing and Me

Why Did This Draft Feel Easier??

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As you may be aware, I have completed the first draft of Thrown to The Blue and it is having a little rest before I start the redraft. I’ve been thinking about this drafting process and why I found it so easy (much easier than my EVO Nation series.) Maybe there is a plethora of reasons, and this story just seeped from my pores, but as a pantser, I scrutinise my methods and techniques to try and better understand what suits my writing style.

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More POVs

For the first time, I have written a draft in multiple POVs; two for the majority of the book, and three toward the end. It is unconventional to add a POV late on in the narrative, but I’m a rebel like that. Once my MCs had met the antagonist, Lyerdith, she got her own POV. I did this to add depth and hopefully lead into book two. This was a source of debate for me, but in the end, I liked being inside Lyerdith’s head, and her POV helped progress the narrative.

Shorter Chapters

Due to the multiple POVs, I was able to make the chapters shorter. Writing shorter chapters kept me thinking about the next step, and the next POV. This made the drafting that little bit easier. I had to get what I needed to say down in shorter intervals, which eliminated a certain amount of pointless rambling.

CampNaNo

There is no denying that CampNaNo helped me no end. I hit my 30k target with the encouragement of my cabin mates. Feeling accountable for my word counts was a great motivator.

Letting Go

Everything about this draft was out of my comfort zone, yet I felt so at home. I allowed myself the freedom to explore POVs, time lines, and characters that blur the lines between good and bad. For the first time, I didn’t set myself an ideal deadline. I went in with the mindset that it will take as long as it takes. I’m still in the mindset in regards to the redraft and edits and it is a refreshing perspective for me. If I have to cut or rework during the redraft, then you know what, it’s all cool.

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Do you have a particular drafting style that makes the process run smoother? Can you relate to any of the above?


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GIFs sourced from GIPHY.COM

100% K.J Chapman

Ten Suggestions Tag!

MONTHLY READS ROUNDUP(2)

img_5811.pngBig thanks to Al over at Hyperactive Pandemonium for tagging me in this unique tag. It’s great to know that I’m one of the first to get in on this new tag. Head on over and check out Al’s page for musings, haikus, book reviews, and much more.

 

The tag is straight forward: share ten of my own suggestions:

The person I suggest you follow on Twitter is:

Al Nobody.

Yep, the main tag man himself. Al shares all sorts on Twitter, especially haikus, motivational tweets, and anything writerly. Oh, and he has a cat called Ruby!

The person I suggest you follow on Instagram is:

Sarina Langer.

If you want your fair share of bookish, writerly, cat related pictures, this is the person to follow.

The book review blog I suggest you follow is:

Dream by Day Book Reviews.  

I would also suggest following this blog on Instagram for some of the prettiest bookish photos.

The indie author I suggest you check out is:

Brianna West.

Brianna is the author of the Promiscus Guardians Series, and the Guardian’s in Love Series. Her paranormal romance books are highly praised, and she has just been nominated for the 2016 Summer Indie Book Awards run by Metamorph Publishing.

The book I read in 2016 that I suggest you read is:

The Girl with all the Gifts by M.R.Carey.

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The graphic novel I read in 2016 that I suggest you read is:

White Sand by Brandon Sanderson.

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The series I watched in 2016 that I suggest you watch is:

Stranger Things (An Original Netflix Series)

The film I watched in 2016 that I suggest you watch is:

Deadpool.

The music artist I discovered in 2016 that I suggest you listen to is:

Frances.

The science fiction and urban fantasy books I suggest you check out are:

My OWN! Yep, a bit of shameless self promotion in this tag, but why not, eh?

EVO Nation.

EVO Shift.

Who knows, if you’re interested in this series, drop me a message, and a free copy may come your way… *Just a suggestion* Hehe.


Content belongs to KJ.Chapman

Videos sourced from Youtube.com

Tag created by A.Morgan (Hyperactive Pandemonium)

100% K.J Chapman, Writing and Me

Novel Aesthetics Boards

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What are novel aesthetics?

Novel aesthetics are visual images that inspire and/or sum up your narrative.

There are many ways to create a novel aesthetics board: keeping a file on your PC or laptop, using Pinterest (I highly recommend), or the good, old fashioned way of using a notice board and pins. Think of it as a mood board for your novel.

You can find my EVO Nation series, novel aesthetics boards here (I do use the boards as a way to highlight important quotes from the books too):

Why make a novel aesthetics board?

If like me, you like visual inspiration, or just like to see your characters in person. A novel aesthetics board can be beneficial. I look at my boards and instantly understand why I saved the images I did. Sometimes, it’s not a specific reason ie that model resembles my character, but a feeling I get from the image.

If you use the internet to compile your aesthetics board, it is easy to share via social media. This is a fab idea for authors who have a fan base. You can make novel aesthetics boards for published books, and books you are currently working on; great teasers for what is to come in the narrative.You can pick as few or as many pictures as you like to sum up your novel in a quick glance.

Why I use Pinterest for my boards?

That’s simple. Type any description into the Pinterest search bar and there is bound to be a related image appear. Pinterest make it easy to compile all related images into one ‘board’. You can make these boards private or public, and can continue to add/ edit/ or delete your board.

Here are some novel aesthetics I have started to compile for my current WIP, Thrown to The Blue:

As you can see, visual images can really bring your vision to life. Do you have a novel aesthetics board? Do you work better with the images in your head? Do you have a unique way of storing your inspirational images?


Content belongs to KJ.Chapman

Images sourced from Pinterest.com

 

100% K.J Chapman, Writing and Me

Pet Peeve

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My pet peeve has been slowly growing of late. So much so that I decided to blog about it. The stem of my annoyance is articles, blog posts, writing books etc telling me what way is the right way to write. Let me explain: I appreciate informative pieces that advise writers of a certain style ie plotters or pantsers on some techniques to help with the process, but I do not like posts that say, Why you MUST plot your novel! or Why you should NEVER plot your novel. Or even worse…Do You Have Bad writing techniques?

Urgh! Please! Writing is a creative art form and with all creative artforms there is no one way and definitely no right way to do it. I’m a pantser, and although that is how I roll, I do not expect every one to be comfortable with this drafting style. If I write a piece about my writing process, I hope it would be informative, but not dictatorial.

“There are no laws for the novel. There never have been, nor can there ever be.”
—Doris Lessing

My advice to all writers is to keep getting those words down and stories finished in the way you feel is most comfortable and enjoyable to you as an artist.

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Content belongs to KJ.Chapman

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