Sisters All, Writing and Me

New Project

book review

With EVO Ghost in the hands of the ARC readers and ready for release on March 1st, I was expecting to crack on with book two of the Indigo Flame Series, The Red Archer. I’m not in the mood to be writing high fantasy, so I decided to make some notes on another urban fantasy that has been niggling at me for a while. The notes gathered in momentum, and I’m well into the writing process.

About my new project:

This project is an urban fantasy based around five sisters. There will be five novellas, each from one sister’s perspective, and all leading up to a full length novel with all of their POVs. Despite them being novellas, the sister’s stories require a lot of note-taking for various reasons. Each one does not lead into the next (the novellas can all be read out of order), but the full novel will be a sequel to the five novellas.

Titles and Covers:

All five e-covers are currently under design. I have titles for all which will be revealed with the cover and blurb reveal, and the series will be called Sisters All.

Changes to Publication:

I am taking a different approach with the release of the novellas: all five will be released at the same time. There are two reasons for this: 1. I like the idea of all five being available as they can be read out of order, and I know it’s going to take me much longer to write the sequel novel. 2. I am seven months pregnant and won’t have the time to deal with five publication events with a new baby.

The whole process is going to be flexible, relaxed, and in my own sweet time.


Content belongs to K.J. Chapman

 

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Book Reviews, Books and Me

Review: Triple Whammy- House of Night Books 1-3 by PC.Cast & Kristin Cast

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House of Night: Marked, Betrayed, and Awakened by PC Cast & Kristin Cast

I read these books in 2015 and loved them. Seeing as I have now purchased books 4 to 8, I thought I’d do a triple whammy review of the first three to kick start my House of Night readathon.

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Marked 4/5

Blurb:

After a Vampire Tracker Marks her with a crescent moon on her forehead, 16-year-old Zoey Redbird enters the House of Night and learns that she is no average fledgling. She has been Marked as special by the vampyre Goddess Nyx and has affinities for all five elements: Air, Fire Water, Earth and Spirit. But she is not the only fledgling at the House of Night with special powers. When she discovers that the leader of the Dark Daughters, the school’s most elite club, is mis-using her Goddess-given gifts, Zoey must look deep within herself for the courage to embrace her destiny – with a little help from her new vampyre friends (or Nerd Herd, as Aphrodite calls them)

Review:

The concept is simple, but engaging; a young girl, marked as a vampyre, has to leave her ordinary life and unaccepting parents, and join a vampyre school that teaches at night. I thought the blurb sounded a little cheesy for my tastes, but I enjoyed getting to learn about Zoey, her quirky, new friends, and the vampyre lifestyle. It shits all over Twilight, that’s for sure.

Great world building, interesting characters and narrative, and engaging love interests.

Betrayed 4/5

Blurb:

Zoey, High Priestess in training, has managed to settle in at the House of Night and come to terms with the vast powers the Vampyre Goddess Nyx has given her. Just as she finally feels she belongs, the unthinkable happens: human teenagers are being killed, and all evidence points to the House of Night. While danger stalks the humans from Zoey’s old life, she begins to realize that the very powers that make her so unique might also threaten those she loves.

Review:

The story got a little deeper and a little darker in book two. Zoey has to get a grasp on her new role as High Priestess in training and leader of the Dark Daughters. She wants to shake things up a little in the House of Night, but in a good way. And she has to deal with all this whilst understanding her new Vamp life and the changes that are happening to her.

I usually hate love triangles, but I couldn’t hate the Zoey, Heath, and Erik shambles that Zoey can not seem to get out of. This book is quite sexualised for a YA/ teen book, but I believe it to be honest and true representation.

The main narrative follows the sinister deaths of human teenagers with the evidence leading to the House of Night school. Zoey is worried about her human friends, and gets tangled up in a web of lies and darkness.

There is also a heartbreaking storyline *sobs*. It takes a lot to make me cry when reading, and perhaps I was a little hormonal, but I sobbed like a baby.

Chosen 5/5

Blurb:

Dark forces are at work at the House of Night and Zoey Redbird’s adventures at the school take a mysterious turn. Her best friend, Stevie Rae, is undead and struggling to maintain a grip on her humanity. Zoey finds herself in the very unexpected and rare situation of having three boyfriends. Mix a little bloodlust into the equation and the situation has the potential to spell social disaster. Just when it seems things couldn’t get any tougher, vampyres start turning up dead. Really dead. It looks like the People of Faith are tired of living side-by-side with vampyres. But, as Zoey and her friends so often find out, how things appear rarely affects the truth…

Review:

If I thought the last book was getting dark, book three is getting blacker still. Zoey finds herself in a love square- three love interests on the go. I was totally shocked with the outcome of Zoey and Loren’s relationship… say no more. Zoey is confused and stressed, going through her vamp change, and pretty much struggling with teen issues, so I didn’t mind her testing the waters with the three guys. There are also consequences to her choices, so she does learn lessons.

To find out a new development with an ‘undead’ friend was an ‘ERMERGHERD’ moment. The narrative about the human murders steps up a notch, and Zoey is desperately trying to keep her shit together as much as she can, whilst piecing together a huge, ‘screwed up’ puzzle.


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.

100% K.J Chapman, Writing and Me

Idea Bomb Aftermath

hermione explode

It happened- another idea bomb has exploded in my noggin. Yes, this one literally blew my brains out, and I was a walking, talking zombie until I could get some notes written. Those notes turned into two chapters. This is snowballing and I think it will be my next release after the third and final installment of the EVO Nation series, EVO Ghost.

I’m not sure if this book will be stand alone or a series, but either way it is going to be a challenge. Hell, I’m up for it. My protagonist is no heroine, in fact you could call her a villain, but as I always say, villains make the most interesting characters. The challenge will be in getting the readers to relate and root for her regardless… Um, yeah, good luck with that Kayleigh.

I’m excited at the prospect of writing fantasy, royalty, new worlds, and complex characters. It’s a good job I’m feeling particularly villainous of late…

changes



GIFs sourced from GIPHY.COM

EVO Shift, Writing and Me

EVO Shift Editing Update #3

giphyphewIt has been three days of hard slogging, but the second read through has been a success. The changes made in stage #1 of editing flow well and tie up all the loose ends. I am more than a little relieved. There was quite a bit of tying off that needed to be done and I kept all apendages crossed that it wouldn’t affect the narrative in an adverse way, but I’m happy to say- phew!

Stage #2 consisted of polishing narrative, and more importantly adding a few scenes to flesh out certain plot points. Those scenes have been added, and edited, and are sitting pretty.

6tag_290116-140120As you can just about see in the picture, I changed the font and colour to give myself a fresh perspective. I went for a red this time, and highlighted with a dark blue. It really helped me see it through new eyes. I would suggest trying this if you edit on screen and find you’re missing mistakes etc.

So, what are my processes for Stage #3?

Stage #3 is… yep, you guessed it, the third read through. This read through is to catch anything I may have missed. I have already sent a copy to my friend/ proof reader for any glaring mistakes that they may see.

Again, I will change the font and colour. I will reiterate how well this works for me. Once I am happy with stage #3 and have feedback from my proof-reader, then I will send out my advanced reader copies. This shouldn’t be long at all.

Stage #4= formatting. This is tedious, and time consuming, and makes me go cross-eyed, but it is a necessity for ebooks. I will go into this in a little more detail once Stage #3 is completed.

I shall leave you with another excerpt because I’m in a sharing mood:

The tantrum was fruitless. It did nothing other than tire me, and leave my knuckles swollen and split. I pace. It’s all I can do to stop me going insane. I’ve run over every possible escape scenario, but I can’t pull anything off with the cuff on my wrist. I scream in frustration as I move from the window to the door from the window to the door.


GIF sourced from GIPHY.COM

Image & written works are the property of K.J.Chapman

 

 

100% K.J Chapman, EVO Shift, Writing and Me

First Draft Complete

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I have completed the first draft of EVO Shift… finally. I’m walking about in a daze of relief, euphoria, and editing dread. As usual, I’m having nightmares that I’m going to start editing and realise I’ve written in Mandarin and can no longer translate it.

Writing EVO Nation was a much smoother, quicker process, but I wasn’t blogging or marketing another eBook when writing book one. EVO Shift just feels a long time coming, especially when you have readers of book one asking when book two will be finished. The pressure is definitely on.

I’m just grateful to be able to say the story is down, the characters feel well developed, and EVO Shift has led me nicely into book three.

giphy (66)Book three… WOW. The final book in the series. How crazy is that to try and get my head around? I’m all the more closer to starting book three, and then I say goodbye to the voices who have occupied my mind and have to create new ones. *Sobs* Stop getting ahead of yourself, Kayleigh. 

I’m going to let my manuscript rest for a little, so I can go back to edit with a fresh set of eyes. I have a side project that is near completion, so at least I have that to occupy my time for the next few weeks. I shall also be re-reading EVO Nation before venturing into any editing.

I will check in again when I have something of significance to report. Wish me luck, and minimal plot holes!!


 

GIFs sourced from GIPHY.com

Writing and Me

Characters, Characters Everywhere!

Have you ever thought that you have too many characters in you novel? I understand that ‘too many’ is a subjective concept, but if you are thinking you have too many characters, the chances are that you have too many characters.

I’m battling with this problem right now. Due to the nature of my story, many characters died in book one of the EVO Nation series, but I still managed to bring eleven forward into book two. Two of the characters were only introduced to us in the final chapter of book one. (I say introduced, but actually, my protagonist knew only that they were male and fighting for the same side.) The issue I am having is that every character is linked into the narrative in one way or another, or will be needed in book three. I’m a pantser not a plotter, and allow the story to lead me, but I do have one idea that seems set in stone for book three. Not only that, the narrative arc finds me introducing new characters.

What can be done?

  • Cull– If this aids your narrative, then great, cull away. The only problem with this option is that you may end up killing off characters for the sake of it, and leaving the readers disgruntled or feeling cheated. Embark on this option with great care.
  • Split up the characters- At first my characters are forced to remain a group due to external threats, but I have the option of splitting the group up. Not only does this aid my narrative, but it’ll give the readers, and me, a respite.
  • Give sub-characters a way out- If they’re not a necessity to the progressing narrative, give them a way to separate themselves from the main character and the current story. It is fine for them to play their part, and then excuse themselves as long as it is true to the narrative and a closure for that character and the reader.
  • Revise- If your are on your second or third book in a series this can prove tricky as most characters are established and you can’t just erase them. If the character is fresh and newly introduced, revise their importance. If you can do without them, do away with them.

If you have any tried and tested techniques for managing characters, or an abundance there of, I’d be happy to hear them.