Author Toolbox Blog Hop

Write for You (Author Toolbox Blog Hop)

This post is more of a motivational, encouraging pick-me-up for anyone who needs it. I wanted to share the one thing that I have learnt in my time as a self published author, and that is to write for you.

Why did you start writing? Passion, a creative outlet? Has that changed over the course of your journey and are you asking yourself ‘what is the popular genre of the moment? Do people want to read this? Should I change something I like because statistics say my target audience won’t buy it?’

I’m here to tell you that the only person you need to impress is you. Yes, it is great to get sales and amazing reviews, but at the end of the day, you need to be happy with your process and your work.

I believe that your best writing comes when you stay true to yourself, your beliefs, and your style.

I just wanted to put this thought out there today, and if you are writing today, remember to make yourself happy.


You can check out the other #authortoolboxbloghop participants and their posts here.


Content belongs to K.J Chapman

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Author Toolbox Blog Hop

Finding Routine After a Hiatus (Author Toolbox Blog Hop)

As you know, I have taken a long hiatus from writing, partly due to being a full time Mum, and partly because I let other things get in the way of my writing time i.e setting myself too much work for this blog and social media.

Now, I have set my priorities straight for 2020 and want to dive back in with editing my novella, Zombies and Budgie Smugglers. However, I am finding it harder than I thought I would.

I have now set myself some rules to get back into a writing routine and wanted to share them with you.

Chose a time of day and stick to it.

The mornings are best for me. My kids are early risers, so getting in a writing session when they’re eating breakfast and watching TV is best for me. If I get it done and dusted, then the rest of my day is free and I don’t feel guilty for not having written or for writing instead of family time etc.

Set low word count goals for the first few weeks.

I work best by hitting word counts rather than time limits. Ideally, 500 words a day would be perfect, but it is a daunting number coming back after a break, so I am setting small word count goals for a while of just 150 words a day. The sense of accomplishment motivates me each day.

Accountability is important.

Having someone ask ,what was your word count this morning?’ or ‘did you sit down and edit today?’ really helps me stay on track. Let people know what your plans and goals are and ask them to encourage you to stay on track every once in a while. My 9 year is best at this as she enjoys writing herself.

Mini deadlines over big ones.

When I was a mother of 1 school age child, I would happily set deadlines for editing and publication etc. Now, I have a toddler with me 24/7 a deadline seems scary. Deadlines used to motivate me, so I enjoy a mini deadline without the big stress of looming dates. For example, getting 15 pages edited in 5 days is doable and an extra push.


Do you have any tips to help me jump back on the writing wagon?


You can check out the other #authortoolboxbloghop participants and their posts here.


Content belongs to K.J Chapman

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Blogmas

Blogmas Day 4

December Book Promos

It wouldn’t be Blogmas on Writerly Bookish Stuff without some book promos. I asked around on Instagram for some fab promos this month, and my author friends did not disappoint.

If you’re looking for some new reads over Christmas, feast your eyeballs on this list.

And… I have a great idea for those of you on a tight budget this Christmas. You could send a little message to your chosen recipient with the links to the freebies in this list as a thoughtful, unique Christmas gift.

Freebies

One of my own books is free for 5 days from today!

EVO Nation by K.J.Chapman

Raven’s Cry by Dana Fraedrich Free for 5 days from Dec 16th.

The Street Party by K.C.Jane Free for 5 days from Dec 10th.

Discount Promos

Jewel. E. Leonard has 2 Kindle Countdown promotions in December.

Alight: Witches Rede Book One Week starting Dec 14th.

Possession: Witches Rede Book 2 Week starting Dec 22nd

Check out the books and the authors on Amazon and mark those dates in your calendars for some fab Christmas reads.


Content belongs to K.J.Chapman

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EVO Ghost Release Day

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I’m thrilled to announce the release of EVO Ghost, book three in the EVO Nation Series. Thank you to everyone who pre-ordered the final installment. I hope you have woken up to shiny, new copies on your Kindle devices.

If you would like to purchase your copy, follow this link.

copy-of-evoHer name is both feared and revered.
Her name is that of a ghost.
Her name is Teddie Leason, and she’s back from the dead.

Teddie never agreed with Woodman’s hare-brained declaration of war that cost the lives of those dear to her, but now, she is the main participant in forwarding what he started. There is no turning back, the war has to play out, and she must end the oppression of her kind. EVO are at the mercy of a man with outdated ideas and the power to wield them. Britain will be reshaped forever unless enemies become allies and sacrifices are made.

Becoming the ‘Face of the Rebellion’ is bitter sweet, with the potential for justice, but also a weight she struggles to shoulder. The fight has never been more important, and EVO have never been more at risk. They will follow where she leads. Does Teddie have the strength to bear that responsibility?

Not read the rest of the series? You can purchase your copies here.

 

You can read ARC reviews for EVO Ghost and discover reader’s thoughts on all three books on Goodreads.

Paperback will be available shortly. You can also buy the entire trilogy at a discounted rate via Amazon.

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Thank you for all your continued support from the release of book one in 2015, to Teddie’s finale.


Content belongs to K.J. Chapman

 

EVO Ghost, new release

EVO Ghost Release Day News

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I am thrilled to announce that EVO Ghost has an official release date…

March 1st 2018

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This also means that you can preorder your copy from Amazon: preorder link. However, I will be doing an ARC reviewer call out in the New Year.

In the meantime, get EVO Ghost on your Goodreads want to read lists: EVO Ghost on Goodreads.


Content belongs to K.J. Chapman

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Crimbo Book Shout Out #3

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Have you been waiting patiently for the final Crimbo book shout out and giveaway? Of course you have! The winner of last week’s Cass Michaels giveaway was Laura Carter. Congratulations!


This week’s Crimbo book shout out is for a Christmas horror book, Merry Murder by Angel Gelique…

33555243Poor Paul McKenna. He just wants to enjoy the holidays. But with an obstinate teen-aged daughter, Heather, and an unreasonable wife who enables her, Paul is anything but jolly. Heather has her heart set on getting the latest cell phone for Christmas. The only problem is Paul can’t find one within the acceptable price range. He simply refuses to fall victim to holiday price-gouging. He has every intention of buying the phone weeks after Christmas when it’s half the price. Surely, Heather will understand…right?

In this tale of vengeance, a well-intentioned father will find that sometimes it’s better to appease an incorrigible teen daughter—no matter the cost—rather than incur her wrath.

Would you like a chance to win an e-copy of Merry Murder? All you have to do is share Angel Gelique’s Amazon page via any social media platform and paste a copy of the link to your post in the comments below to be entered. You can also enter by sharing the post from my Instagram feed. You can find more information here.

You can find Angel Gelique and her books here:

Amazon

Goodreads

Webpage


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Crimbo Book Shout Out #2

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Who’s ready for the second Crimbo book shout out post and giveaway? I know I am. The winner of last week’s K.C.Jane giveaway was Angel Gelique. Congratulations and happy reading.


Today’s shout out is for Chasing Winter by Cass Michaels.

ChasingWinter PRINT 5(1).jpgDear Santa,

I think Daddy needs a girlfriend. He needs someone to take care of him. She has to cook and like outdoor stuff. She has to like kids, ‘cause I have a little brother. And she has to be pretty, like the Christmas Princess. I love that movie! I want Daddy’s girlfriend to be nice like the princess and be good to everyone. She can’t be mean, like the Ice Queen!
Oh, and there’s another thing I want. I’ll tell you when I see you at the Christmas Pageant!

Love, Jennifer

Grading the students’ papers, Noel Winter lays the child’s Christmas letter down on her desk and wonders exactly what surprises might be in store this Christmas… Jennifer’s father, Rex Presley, made quite an impression at Parent Conferences. And it had nothing to do with his plaid coat or ruggedly, handsome good looks. He’s got a chip on his shoulder, and his hands full, raising two kids on his own. So why can’t she stop thinking about him?

Would you like a chance to win an e-copy of Chasing Winter? All you have to do is share Cass Michaels’ Amazon page via any social media platform and paste a copy of the link to your post in the comments below to be entered. You can also enter by sharing the post from my Instagram feed. You can find the post here.

You can find Cass Michaels and her books here:

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Crimbo Book Shout Out #1

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Welcome to the first of December’s Crimbo Book Shout Out posts. I had to add a little festivity to Writerly Bookish Stuff, and what better way than by highlighting some Christmas reads. There are even some simple to enter giveaways thrown in for good measure…


Today’s shout out is for K.C.Jane’s Christmas Novellas: With Bells On and The Christmas Riddle.

new christmas riddle coverWhen her mother decides on secret santa gifts at the annual Christmas party, the Christmas holidays take an unexpected turn for Ronnie. Who would have given her an empty box with nothing more than a riddle inside, and why does the bizarre gift play on Ronnie’s mind?

Is there more to the gift than what meets the eye, and can she discover its hidden meaning in time for Christmas?

Copy of With.pngMona is a perpetual singleton, but not for lack of trying. Is it simply bad luck, or her knack for finding herself in the most awkward, yet hilarious situations, that sees her romance-free at Christmas?

Maybe the right man isn’t out there. Or maybe she has been looking in the wrong place this whole time.

Could a game of bingo and a cantankerous Nanna lead Mona to her Christmas romance?

K.C. Jane has recently held a free promotion for both these books, but has generously offered to provide an e-copy of each book for the giveaway. All you have to do is share K.C.Jane’s Amazon page via any social media platform and paste a copy of the link to your post in the comments below to be entered. You can also enter by sharing the post from my Instagram feed. You can find more information here.

You can find K.C Jane and her books here:

Twitter

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Goodreads


 

Guest Post

Guest Post: Rebecca Howie on Overcoming Writer’s Block

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Today, I have the pleasure of welcoming the author of The Game Begins, Rebecca Howie, to Writerly Bookish Stuff.  Rebecca is here to talk about the dreaded writer’s block and how to overcome it.

Over to you, Rebecca…


Overcoming Writer’s Block

Let’s be honest: being a writer isn’t easy. From bad reviews, nit-picking beta readers who make you feel like a wanna-be sham, and spending hours formatting your shiny new novel for Createspace only to have it rejected because of the margin sizes, it’s easy to see why some people decide to pack it up and keep on at their day job.

But before you reach the final stage, before you hit PUBLISH and send your book baby out into the world to fend for itself, you’ve got to write that first draft. And while you’re at it, you’re probably going to come across writer’s block.

I was lucky enough when writing my first novel to avoid it, but that was only because I didn’t actually know I was writing a novel until I was halfway through and thought ‘Screw it, I’m going to publish it’. But on my second visit into Sam’s world, it hit me, and for almost half a year, I couldn’t get anything written.

I knew I wanted to write a second book; I knew I wanted it to be a sequel to The Game Begins. And I knew that I wanted it to touch on the previous book’s events instead of pretending like nothing bad had happened. But could I write it?

(That answer is obvious if you make a visit to my blog and see my lack of writing updates, and that up until October, had the release date for my second book as ‘Coming Soon’.)

So, how do you overcome writer’s block? What possible solution can there be when you haven’t written a single word in almost a year?

Here are some of the things I try, and sometimes find helpful.

Take a Break

Accepting that you’re stuck isn’t actually the be-all and end-all of your WIP. Taking a break, even for just a few hours, might be all you need to get focussed on your story and the scene that’s trying to derail you.

Consult Your Notes

Keeping a note of the ideas that come to you at three in the morning is a great idea for finding inspiration, and if you already have a few notebooks filled with your sleep-deprived ramblings, now might be a good time to take a look.

Who knows? Maybe the next NYT bestseller is in there somewhere.

Read/ Watch TV

This might be the only time procrastinating isn’t a bad idea, but reading someone else’s book is a great way of getting your creative juices flowing. It can help you with pacing your novel, character development, and even when to end a chapter (which I struggled with a bit at the start of this new book).

Watching TV, on the other hand, is another great way to get ideas for your story. And when I was writing a particularly tricky scene in A Woman Scorned, I turned to ABC’s Castle for help with portraying the symptoms of PTSD, because I knew that one of its characters had gone through something similar to my own.

Rewrite

I know the last thing you want to hear is ‘rewrite’, but taking a second run at the WIP that’s trying to psyche you out might just be the thing you need to work out the plot hole that’s been bugging you, or changing the tone or pace or point-of-view to turn the story into the one you’ve actually been wanting to write from the beginning.

Stop

If all else fails, stop. Don’t justify forcing yourself to write, or making yourself sick with the stress of it. I lost count of how many false starts I made while trying to write AWS, and although I have a folder filled with character notes and defunct plot points, I’m happier with the characters now than I was when I started all those earlier attempts, so moving on to a different plot or story might just be the thing which gets you back on track.


Rebecca Howie is a procrastinating writer from Scotland, who prefers spending her time in fictional worlds rather than the real one.

She self-published her first novel, The Game Begins, at 18, and it reached 2nd in the Teen and Young Adult Detective category on Amazon after its release in February 2016.

Where to find Rebecca Howie and her book:

Amazon

Twitter

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Goodreads


For use of the content in this post, permission must be sought from the author, Rebecca Howie.

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Guest Post

Guest Post: Sarina Langer on Bullet Journals

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Guess who’s back on my blog today? Yep, fantasy author, Sarina Langer. Sarina has taken time out of her busy release week for her new book, Wardens of Archos, to guest post on Writerly Bookish Stuff.

Sarina is a bullet journal (BuJo) advocate, and is here today to explain what a bullet journal is, why she benefits from using one, and how you can get started on your own. I’m all ears for this post. Over to you, Sarina!


Bullet Journals

Chances are you’ve at least heard of the bullet journal, even if you’re not sure what it is, exactly. It’s grown in popularity over the last few years, and sites like Instagram and Pinterest are full of beautiful examples. The bullet journal is a way of organising anything you want, in a way that suits you. I recommend you check out the original website, too.

What I love the most about my bullet journal is the flexibility, the creativity, and the ability to plan and organise everything the way I want. You can imagine it like a planner that does exactly what you need, without limitations. When you buy a basic planner or a diary, you have a page for each day or a two-page spread for each week, but sometimes you just want something… more.

 

If a week is going to be quiet, you can use as little space for it as you think is necessary. If you know one week is going to be busy and one page won’t do, you can spread it out over as many pages as you need.

But there is one downside, and it’s why many people eventually give up on it. Your bullet journal takes time. Why draw a spread for every month when a regular planner already comes with twelve? Why set aside time every Monday morning to write down every day that week and date it, when any planner you can buy already has that? I get your apprehension. There are days when I’m not sure I can be bothered, and it’s on those days that I look to more basic spreads. I’m not artistically creative. If you told me right now to draw a hedgehog, I’d need a reference picture and it still wouldn’t be pretty. I’ve seen some incredibly beautiful bullet journals on Pinterest (my board right here is full of them!), and I assure you mine looks nothing like that.

Our days are busy, sometimes chaotic, and time is precious. I understand not wanting to waste a lot of time on something you can buy with no effort in most shops for little money, and if that’s what you want to do, go for it! But I hope I can show you today that your Bullet Journal doesn’t need to take a lot of time and still look pretty(ish).

These are my basics:

The Key

Your key is usually found at the front (if you want to make it harder on yourself and stick it on page 97, go for it – as I said, you can do anything you want in this thing), and it’s a short, easy summary of how you’ll use your bullet journal.

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The basics are your code – the signage you use for completed tasks, started-but-unfinished tasks, priorities, and so on. You can include anything you like in this, such as appointments, important meetings, or research you want to do; your bullet journal is flexible!

I recommend just sticking to the basics if you’re starting your first journal, and leave a bit of room in your key to add to it as you go. Your preferences will likely change as you go, and you can adjust, add, and cut as you need to.

My own preferences have changed quite a bit in my current bullet journal (BuJo #2), so I’ve included an updated version of the key partway through it. I’ve also marked the page with washi tape so I can find it again easily should I need to.

Yearly Spread

Don’t you just love it when a new year starts, and you have all the options? What will you do that year? Which goals will you set? What are your priorities going to be?

I love planning, friends, and your yearly spread is a good place to do that on a large scale.

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For 2017, I did something a little more ‘extravagant’ than I usually do. (writing out all those numbers took time, you know!) I have plenty of space for monthly goals and appointments, which I love. What I don’t have is a page dedicated to my goals this year, so when the time comes to create next year’s spread, I’ll include space for that. I do have two double spreads with goals (colour-coded and categorised, naturally) and ideas on how to achieve them, but really I just want a list where I can tick of goals as I hit them.

So, 2018’s calendar is going to be more basic with a year-long list of goals.

Monthly Spread

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I tried so many different designs for this before I found one that works for me. My monthly calendar is on one side, and my to-do list for each month is on the other. That way I can pencil in important meetings and release dates and things like that, and have everything I want to achieve on the same spread. I’ve experimented with various levels of intricacy and detail, but in the end this minimalistic spread works best. It saves me time, and it has everything I need at one glance.

Weekly Spread

I’ve tried even more layouts here – my bullet journal is a mess of failed spreads, and that’s mostly the weekly spread’s fault. I’ve tried everything from having all the info on one, crammed page (which didn’t leave me anywhere near enough space) to having a double spread, to using four full pages for my weekly goals. Minimalism won again.

 

While layouts with individually drawn boxes and leafs and clouds and little kittens look great, I don’t have the time to draw all that (and, as we’ve already established, I don’t have the skills, either). A bit of washi tape (which I’m addicted to, by the way) and a basic layout is all I need.

My Bookshelf

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This was one of the first things I added. My first list was just that, a list, but my second attempt is a little prettier. Every book I buy (books I don’t own yet don’t make it onto this spread) goes on here, and every book I’ve read I colour in.

My tbr is a mess and I’m sure you’re quite aware yourself that it can feel overwhelming, but thanks to this spread I have a good idea of how many books I actually have. Outside the bullet journal, my tbr exists in two places: my actual shelf, and my kindle where the books are in no useful order whatsoever. If it wasn’t for this spread I’d have no idea how many unread books I currently own.

Blog Posts & Guest Posts

This is becoming even more relevant to me now that I’ve started building my freelance writing business. Previously, I’ve used my bullet journal to plan future blog post ideas, make a note of whether I’d written the first draft, whether they were ready and scheduled, which day they’d publish, and so forth. But now I’m also using it to keep track of all my freelance writing jobs and opportunities (like this one!) by writing down who the post is for, what my word count limit is, and when my deadline is.

This way I can see at one glance what I’m doing for whom and when they want it by. Yay for organisation!

Here are some more ideas of what you can do:

Habit tracker

Dream journal

List of films you want to watch

Places you want to visit

Savings tracker

A list of home improvements

Birthdays

Passwords

Gift ideas for your loved ones

Blog post planner

Social Media Exposure Tracker

Content Calendar

Full disclosure: I actually use some of these myself but they’re not in any state to be shown off anywhere! As I said, I’m artistically challenged.

There are so many things you can try and adjust that my main advice is to start small, with the basics, and add to it as you learn what you need from your bullet journal. If you want to be creative and intricate, go ahead, and if you want to keep it simple, like I do, go ahead with that, too. You can try a bit of both, if you like! That’s the beauty of your bullet journal – it’s yours, in every way.

And if you realise fifty pages in that you no longer want to use a specific spread, or try a different layout, good news: you can!

Happy journaling and organising, people!


Author Picture.jpgSarina is the author of the Relics of Ar’Zac trilogy. The first book in the series, Rise of the Sparrows, was released in late May 2016. She’s currently working on the sequel and a new fantasy duology.

She’s obsessed with books and all things stationery, has a proud collection of over twenty notebooks, and squees every time she buys a new notebook, pens (hmmm, fountain pens ❤ ) or highlighters.

In her free time she reads fantasy and sci-fi novels, plays video games, and researches human sacrifice traditions and the end of the universe.

Where to find Sarina & her books:

Website & Blog

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For use of content in this post, permission must be sought from the author, Sarina Langer.