100% K.J Chapman, EVO Nation: Book One, Writing and Me

EVO Nation is FREE for 3 Days!

Get your copy of EVO Nation for FREE from May 23rd-25th! There is no particular reason for this promo other than I felt generous… and I would appreciate reviews *cough*. If this promo goes well I might hold another of some sort for EVO Shift.

Get your free copy of EVO Nation: here!!!

The government torture 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 b-3.png

Thanks for the continuing support!


Content belongs to KJ.Chapman

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Book Reviews, Books and Me

Review: Nowhere by Jon Robinson

Nowhere by Jon Robinson 3/5

Blurb:

‘No one’s coming for us.
Not our families, not the police.
No one.’

Alyn, Jes, Ryan and Elsa are Nowhere.
A concrete cube in the middle of a dense forest.

Imprisoned inside are one hundred teenagers from all over the country. They’re all criminals. But none of them remember committing any crimes.

Who has put them there. What do their captors want?
And how will they ever break free . . . ?

Review:

The concept appealed to me, but I felt more could have been done with this narrative. I was half way through the book and the pace hadn’t picked up, and the story hadn’t progressed enough for my liking. I was waiting for something to happen.

Nowhere is written in third person, but regularly switches perspective between a number of characters. This allowed insight into both the captors and the captives. I liked Ryan’s character because he felt the most rounded out of the bunch. I didn’t feel emotionally drawn/ attached to any of the others. Character development  really lets this book down.

The prose was simplistic, but well written, and the rapid switches between perspectives was handled well. Nowhere is set in present day/ near future. It makes a change from a lot of dystopian YA novels on the market. I am a fan of science fiction and urban fantasy, and that premise is what drew me to the novel in the first place. I just wished Robinson fulfilled my expectations a little more.

The ending only added to my questions rather than answered any. This is most probably due to Nowhere being the first in a series, but I needed a little more closure than what was offered.

In summary, a great concept that needed a little more oomph.

Writing Exercises

What’s Your Name? Letter E

After the amazing comments in regards to last week’s ‘Letter D’ writing exercise, I am extending the story into this week’s ‘Letter E’ exercise.

If you haven’t already read it, you will have to catch up on last week’s story here.

The name randomly chosen from the first ‘E’ page in my name book is…

Eavan: (pronounced ay-van) A feminine first name meaning ‘radiant’. Irish Gaelic.

For the purpose of this story I shall bend the name conventions a little and use it as a surname.

Eavan

 “Who has threatened my life? Why?”

“I shouldn’t be here, Eva. I was brought before the court three months ago, and I swore an oath to stop returning to Earth, to you. It is forbidden for us to associate with humans.”

“But why?” Eva steps back a little and Daire grips her wrists, not allowing the distance between them.

Daire looks to his feet, clearly unsure how to broach the conversation. “Because we are seen as superior. To associate with a human is a dishonour to my kind.”

Eva pulls from his grip, wrapping her arms around herself in an attempt to keep his words at bay. “A dishonour?” Her voice comes out little and weak.

He pulls her close again, tilting her chin to look into her eyes. “That is not how I feel. You know that. Meeting you has been the greatest privilege of my life. It is an honour to know you, my Eva. But someone has betrayed me, and the court knows of my growing… feelings toward you.”

“Can you not just stay here? Live here?”

Daire shakes his head, his long white hair falling in front of his golden eyes. “They will never let me live out my days here. I’m important to them.”

Eva tucks her hair behind her ears. “I don’t understand any of this. Why are you important to them? If you’re important they may listen to you. Have you just asked?”

He chuckles a little and it annoys her. “I am an Eavan. That name is the most powerful on my planet. I hold a royal title, and my father is Primary Rule of the nine Kingdoms of Myxon. I am his eldest son.” Eva tilts her head, scrunching her nose in confusion. “Eva, I am Prince Daire Eavan of Myxon. I am next in line to Primary Rule. They will not allow me to love you. You must leave with me right away.”

Eva’s breath catches in her throat. “You love me?” she asks. A smile pulls at Daire’s lips. “Say it again, but properly.”

She waits with her heart in her throat. Daire has never mentioned love; the topic caused her many sleepless nights. She was falling for a man she couldn’t keep, or so she thought.

He takes her hands, pulling them to his chest. “Do you feel this?” His heart beat is strong and sure. Eva nods. “That is yours and only yours. I love you, my Eva.”

The biggest smile breaks on her face. Daire returns the gesture. “I love you too.” Eva launches herself at him again, and he catches her effortlessly. She strokes his hair out of his face and kisses him. “Okay, when do we leave?”

Daire studies her face. “You will come with me?”

“I will go anywhere with you,” she replies. His grip tightens on her hips. “As long as my Papa is safe.”

“They do not care for your Papa. He will be safe.” Daire lowers her to her feet, and straightens her blouse. “I’m sorry to take you from your loved ones.”

“It is what it is, Daire.”

“And we love who we love,” he adds.

Her tummy swoops. “How do I explain this to Papa?”

Daire stops her before she can move. “We do not have time, Eva. Your Papa cannot know the truth.”

She pulls her mobile from her pocket and starts to type. Her hands shake as she types words that she knows will break his heart; words she has said to him time and time before and he made her swear to never fulfill.

‘I’m done with this town. I have to see the world. I will come back- I promise you. Love you. xx’

It’s only when Daire wipes a tear from her cheek that she realises she is crying. “This will keep him safe, right?” she asks again.

Daire nods, cupping her cheek in his hand. “I will make all of this right for you.”

“Where are we going?”

He raises a hand in the air and the green beam of light stretches from the clouds, illuminating the clearing. “To the only person I can trust- my sister.”


All written works are the property of K.J.Chapman

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Word Count Weekly

Word Count Weekly #4

It has been a strange week. I’ve scraped by on my word counts for the first part of the week, fell five words short on Thursday, wrote with a rocket up my backside on Friday, and then dropped back down to the bare minimum again over the weekend.

  • Monday- 427 words
  • Tuesday- 417 words
  • Wednesday- 438 words
  • Thursday- 395 words
  • Friday- 1610 words
  • Saturday- 442 words
  • Sunday- 471 words

My little one is back to school tomorrow, so I expect to see a dramatic increase in my word counts. Only time will tell if I manage to do more than procrastinate next week.

Excerpt from this weeks writing:

I hold out my hand, stopping the darts mid-flight. He hesitates for a moment, staring at the fallen darts littering the grass. He’s hunting EVO, but I doubt he’s seen one of us use our abilities. I doubt he knows much about any of us. I guess it’s easier for them not to know. He’s just following his orders like a trained dog; not asking questions, not understanding the truth.


All excerpts are the works of K.J.Chapman

100% K.J Chapman, Books and Me, Writing and Me

EVO Nation Series

In this post I shall introduce my debut novel, EVO Nation, the first book in the EVO Nation Series. I am currently writing book two, and I’m sure to create blog posts regarding my current journey writing the sequel, so I thought I’d give some background on book one.

EVO Nation is a young adult, science fiction and fantasy novel. A particular favourite genre of mine to read, and evidently to write. The process from starting the first draft to self- publishing on Amazon Kindle took about nine months.

Here is the link to EVO Nation on Amazon Kindle (check out the ‘look inside’ feature to read the first few chapters and get a feel for the story.) Find EVO Nation by K.J. Chapman

The blurb:

The government tortures her, her own kind uses 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.

Now, the reclusive teenager who couldn’t get upset without her unruly ability causing destruction has to somehow embrace her gift to save her new friends and her new love.

Will the actions of one man fuel a suppressed, supremacist society’s thirst for war and vengeance, or will Teddie be strong enough to stop him?

EVO Nation is set within current society, and pushes the limits of human and social morality. I have read a mountain of dystopian novels that are currently on the market and I enjoy them immensely, but I decided to write a world within our current world to hopefully appeal to readers searching for a realistic, present day take on the science fiction genre in today’s young adult market.

I’m a stickler for habit and write all my novels in my tried and tested method that involves as little planning/ outlining as possible…(gasps). However, I do have a concept, character ideas, and plot twists whirling around in my head for a few weeks before I sit down to write. In my opinion, I work better without detailed outlines, and I like discovering the journey my characters take me on.

Check out my blog post, Writing and Me, for my writing habits and peculiarities.

Here are some of the rules I did set myself when I first embarked on EVO Nation’s first draft:

1. Teddie Leason was not going to be a damsel in distress…(barf). Feminism has happened folks! I wanted her to be human, real, flawed, but not weak. I hope reader’s think I rose to the challenge on this one.

2. I wanted well rounded characters who had their own minds. This meant that when it came to writing their stories, I had to let them talk to me and not the other way around. I wanted their reactions, dialogue, actions, to be in keeping with their personalities.

3. There was always going to be a plot twist- I left certain areas of the story open to develop a plot twist later on. I didn’t pre-plan my plot twist, it developed over the course of my first draft. It felt more natural to allow it to develop and unravel on its own accord.

4. I wanted Teddie to have a love interest. This is purely because I wanted a sub-plot to run alongside, and interweave with the main plot, and more importantly… I’m a sucker for a good romance.

It was incredibly nerve wracking when I first self-published EVO Nation on Amazon Kindle. More nerve wracking knowing my book, my baby, was out in the world for criticism.

However, I have received great feedback from readers. My most recent feedback/ review was posted to my Facebook page: K.J.Chapman on Facebook (all new likers welcome).

Latest review for EVO Nation:

Seriously what an amazing book. Right away you’re sucked into a roller-coaster storyline filled with characters you can’t help but relate to and love.. But also one you love to hate and can’t wait to see them get a damn good comeuppance! And oh what fantastically satisfying comeuppances K, Chapman dishes out!!
Evo nation is the sort of book that makes you want to abandon every day life in favour of a comfy chair and silence (and the book of course!) , the kind of book that makes you read till your eyes feel like they’re going to shrivel up!
A sassy, addictive read! Can’t wait for the sequel! If you haven’t already read it, get on with it!

Knowing that readers are appreciating my story and characters gives me an immense sense of achievement. If people enjoy reading EVO Nation as much as I enjoyed writing it, then I’m doing something right.

I aim to have book two of the EVO Nation Series (title yet to be confirmed) published on Amazon Kindle by the end of 2015. Between now and then, I shall create update posts on my sequel writing journey.

Happy Thursday

Writing and Me

Writing and Me

I thought I’d jump on the band wagon and blog about my writing habits.

I am always curious about other author’s techniques and tips, so thought I’d impart some of my own fancies.

1. Pretty notebooks and new highlighters.

Say what you will, but I can’t help but revel in a new notebook and pens. I turn to that first page with a giddy excitement that one should not acquire from stationery. Those blank pages get me in the right mind set to create, create, create.

It must be pretty because the said notebook travels with me everywhere and I am known to whip it out at a moment’s notice. All my ideas such as names, dialogue snippets, funny quotes, end up in my notebook.

The highlighters are not a necessity, but I just love to highlight things. It’s an illness I live with.

2. Make a good brew.

I can’t function without a mug of strong, hot tea in front of me. Call me an addict.

3. Start to draft.

I don’t plan or outline. Is that a collective intake of breath I hear? Yep, I don’t work well with a plan, but that’s just me. I have an idea, I nurture it in my head for a few weeks, and then I sit down at my laptop and get stuck in.

I enjoy the process of letting my characters follow their own natural story arc. When I plan I fail miserably. My characters kick up a stink about following my outlines, and like stubborn teenagers they sulk and just won’t do what I want. When I said I was crazy I meant it.

However, if something pops into my head that I reckon would fit well with a character’s development, or aid my story’s natural progression, I will ALWAYS jot it down in my pretty notebook…and highlight it.

4. Set a word count deadline.

I have a family calendar in my kitchen and at the end of every month I write in my word count deadline for the next month. I have a young child and many, many commitments to keep, so I try to be realistic.

For my book, EVO Nation, I set myself a twenty thousand words a month deadline. Sometimes I just made it, sometimes I smashed it.

For my current work I have upped the word count to twenty five thousand words a month to test myself. It is a mini achievement to tick off my calendar at the end of each month.

5. First draft and then edit.

If I attempt to edit as I write I end up with a load of tosh. Not to mention that I would never hit my word count deadlines, or progress the story in any way.

Writing my first draft is my absolute favourite thing to do. I love to see where my imagination takes me, and how I develop character traits and story arcs. I can just grab and idea and run with it- pure freedom. If I edited through this process my creativity would be inhibited.

6. Take a step back.

The first draft is complete- hooray.  I literally float around from my achievement, but the euphoria is short lived when I realise what an undertaking editing is. It’s like believing you’ve reached the summit of the mountain, only for the clouds to part, and you notice that you’re not even close.

It is at this critical point that I take a step back. If I allow my first draft to simmer for a month or so I can return to it with my fresh, editing head on. I love how surprised I am when I read something funny or clever and think, ‘wow, did I write that? Go me!’

These are six of my writing habits. However, I am a firm believer in ‘each to their own’.  Find the process that works for you and roll with it.