Guest Post: The Writing Process By Taylor Hondos

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8284039Taylor is the author of the “Antidote” trilogy. She began studying at The University of North Carolina at Greensboro in 2013 and is getting a degree in English. She enjoys reading and writing instead of doing her homework. She is currently working on “Prospect,” the second book in the trilogy.

Guest Post: The Writing Process

Truthfully, I had no clue what I was doing when I wrote my first book. I had written many short stories and poems. They eased my mind and I realized just how much I loved to write. One night, my brother put on the movie, I, Robot. I was writing a quite terrible short story about aliens (*shakes head in shame), and it hit me. What if the world was turning into robots? I was a senior in High School with a big idea. I thought I would just write a quick short story and call it a day. But my heart wouldn’t let this idea go. My short story turned into fifty pages, then eighty pages. This is when “Antidote” was born.

I wrote the entire book out in my journal. Mind you, it was a horrible rough draft. Words scribbled all over the page, but when I was done. It was all I thought about. I began to extend it. I wrote out an entire trilogy on paper. I told my family about it. I told it to anyone who would listen to me. I read it out loud to people who wanted to hear. When I realized that people were into the idea, I began to type it out.

I typed it pretty fast. It took me about a month and a half to finish. I typed every night. Sometimes even ditching the journal ideas and writing new scenes. It was such a good time for me. The book came so naturally to me that it was as if I was meant to write this book. I was just typing it for myself but when I got to 210 pages, I said to myself “why not try and get published?”

I started to send it out to many places and finally self-published in 2014. I began typing out the next two books and sent my second book to Booktrope. That is when my dream came true. I have my dream team, my dream cover. Most of all, my goals seem to be closer than ever.

In 2016, what I thought sent my world crashing down, was actually a small earthquake leading to something great. Booktrope closed down. I thought it was kind of the end of the world. That’s when Patchwork Press came into my life and changed it once more, and for the better. I feel in control. I feel like I am with a group of writers who appreciate me and are behind me every step of the way.

My publishing story is much different than other authors, but I wouldn’t change it for anything. I have gained experience from self publishing and being with a small press. I know that I can use this knowledge for the rest of my book writing days.

My writing process may be a little different than most, but it works for me. As a writer, you MUST find what works for you. Not what works for others. This is your dream. This is your passion. When the time is right, it will come to you. By “it” I mean the story or even the patience to tell your story to the world. For me, it came naturally because I feel like this was the story I was meant to share.

Writing the Story:

                Dialogue is my strong suit. Character building? Not so much. Since I know my own self, it is easy to begin to work on the things that don’t come so easily to me. When it came to sitting down to write, I found my own habits and tendencies. I found what worked for me. Since I was writing in high school, school came first. Now that I am still writing, I am in college. So I have to put school first (yeah right) and writing next.

I had to find the perfect time to write as well. I write at nighttime. It is my way of cooling down from the day. Sometimes I’ll put music on. It helps me find the right things to say when I feel like I can’t find them. I’ve been able to find the time and place that allows me to be free of the world and write my books. That is my advice to writers; find that one place that makes you feel like you can do anything and write. For me, that is alone in my room, particularly at 11 at night, with music to escort my thoughts.

My goal every night is to write at least one chapter. If what I am writing is complete crap (and trust me, there are days like that,) I stop and go to bed. I reevaluate my life (kidding) and by the morning, I am refreshed and remember why I love this. This is a passion. Without it, I couldn’t stay up countless nights and sometimes forget my homework for school the next day.

Editing Process:

Basically I go through a lot of editing. I will be the one who goes into my book fifteen times and still miss a lot. My eyes, and my great friend, Edee’s eyes, alone edited the first edition of “Antidote.” I have found, it takes more than us to fix a book and it’s problems. Now that I have edited the book so many times, I have found my bad habits. I see that I can have plot holes without even realizing it! Here is my advice to you: When you think you’re done, you’re NOT. So the editing/publishing process for “Antidote” went like this (2016 edition).

  • Wrote “The Antidote,” which is the self-published version.
  • Edited the book about four times over before sending it to my friend, Edee, who is also a self-published author.
  • Edited all the mistakes Edee fixed for me.
  • Edited the book about another four dozen times.
  • Sent it off to Self-publication Land.
  • Wrote “Prospect,” which is the second book in my trilogy and sent that off to Booktrope (wait for the squeals when I got accepted and asked to republish “The Antidote”).
  • And so it begins. Process begins with me submitting the Self-published version of “The Antidote” for rewrite and edit.
  • Change name from “The Antidote” to “Antidote.”
  • Edit number one from my editor. I fixed all the mistakes I was foolishly making.
  • Send off my first round of edits back to her.
  • Editor sends me the second round of edits.
  • I fix all mistakes and send to Proofreader.
  • Finally “Antidote” is ready.
  • Repeat steps 9-13 with “Prospect.”

Now that I have republished “Antidote” one last time with Patchwork Press, I have started to edit “Prospect” with its finishing touches.

That is just a super dry run of how it went. I was an amateur. I had to change a lot. Sometimes I would write things that didn’t make any sense and would have “What??” in the margins. I look at writing completely different now. My mind is stronger and sharper now by seeing the mistakes I made. The editing process takes a lot longer for me now because I thoughtfully/logically put words together. I know that it isn’t just the story that matters. Every single word must make a difference and an impact somehow.

What I’ve Learned:

I have learned a lot from my experiences with writing. I have learned my own strengths and most importantly, my weaknesses. Most of all, I have learned why I am here, as a writer. I am here to write for my happiness. I am here to write so I can bring joy to others as books bring joy to me. I want to change someone’s life. Make them crave books as so many books have done to me. Right now, it isn’t about being successful in book writing. It is about learning the ropes and one day I know I will be a fabulous writer. It is a long road ahead. But it is the road I want to be on forever.antidotemedia

Antidote (Antidote, #1) by Taylor Hondos

Life sucks, and then you rot. No one knows how Dermadecatis is contracted, but its existence has changed everything for 18-year-old Lena, in this riveting debut from Taylor Hondos.

No contact with other people.

Masks must be worn in public at all times.

Four months ago men, women and children alike began to rot from the inside out, and the world as we know it changed forever. Life goes on, but now everything revolves around the need to survive and find a cure for Dermadecatis, the disease that Lena Alona’s father discovered.

Unfortunately for Lena and everyone else who is desperate to survive, her father’s secrets died when he did.

Published June 1st 2016 by Patchwork Press (first published May 30th 2014)

Taylor’s Links: GOODREADS | TWITTER | FACEBOOK | WEBSITE

Bookish Babble Y15.W15

The answer is 42 Edition:

I had this as the background on my home and work computer for years before I had my son and he took over the prime real estate.

I could never get the hang of Thursdays, or any other day of the working week.

Best opening line ever!

I love this robot fella, in fact the only non-human book characters I love more are Eeyore and Dobby, with Hedwig and Mr Tumnus coming close behind him.

I always keep a towel in the back of my car, very handy; it can be a towel, a blanket, a poncho, a huge tissue 😛 etc.

And BAM!! the Dolphins have the right idea.

Love is Pain.

Until next time, so long and thanks for all the fish.

Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

23395680Illuminae (The Illuminae Files #1) by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff.

Paperback, 599 pages
Published October 2015 in Aus by Allen & Unwin.
 * * *  Synopsis  * * *

This morning, Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the hardest thing she’d have to do.

This afternoon, her planet was invaded.

The year is 2575, and two rival megacorporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than an ice-covered speck at the edge of the universe. Too bad nobody thought to warn the people living on it. With enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra—who are barely even talking to each other—are forced to fight their way onto an evacuating fleet, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit.

But their problems are just getting started. A deadly plague has broken out and is mutating, with terrifying results; the fleet’s AI, which should be protecting them, may actually be their enemy; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady hacks into a tangled web of data to find the truth, it’s clear only one person can help her bring it all to light: the ex-boyfriend she swore she’d never speak to again.

Told through a fascinating dossier of hacked documents—including emails, schematics, military files, IMs, medical reports, interviews, and more—Illuminae is the first book in a heart-stopping, high-octane trilogy about lives interrupted, the price of truth, and the courage of everyday heroes.

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* *  * *  * *  * *  * *  My Thoughts  * *  * *  * *  * *  * *

I can’t figure out how to review this book without sounding like a gushing thirteen year old who’s just won tickets to One Direction. It was beautiful, quirky, funny, action packed, exciting, thrilling, twisting, turning, loving, murdering, madness.

I loved the layout idea! The story is told through memos and messages, transcribed footage and images. The textual images are stunning. At one point you have to turn the book 360 to read the spirally writing. You feel like your falling into the void. All the little notes made it feel as if you were really reading a report of actual events. The writing was brilliant I felt as if I was watching the transcribed video footage.

The story line is just my kind of thing; super computers, deadly viruses, young lovers separated and unlikely heroes – I can’t say too much as it’ll give away all the fabulous twists and turns. Just went you think you know whats going to happen, the whole thing switches up. HELL YES, Five Stars, bring on book two and three. Best book I’ve read this year.

star.5

LINKS: Illuminae on Goodreads | Kristoff’s Website | Kristoff’s Twitter | Kaufman Website | Kaufman Twitter

Buy Illuminae: Booktopia | Amazon AU | Amazon US | Book Depository

Pledged by Louise G. White

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Hi Res Pledged

Pledged (Gateway #3) by Louise G. White

Published: October 22nd 2015

A big thank you to Louise for giving me a copy to read and review.

 View on Goodreads 

Synopsis mk3The deal was simple: Carolyn and her friends could return home after 21 days. What could happen in 3 short weeks?

Rather a lot: Carolyn’s mother is livid about her “rescue” and Edward is being groomed for a chiefdom he doesn’t want. The Agency’s “elixir of life” has been perfected, and O.W.E. permits mean that certain humans have been authorised to work in the demon realms.

The destroyer is about to face her greatest fear, and it has nothing to do with killing demons: She must decide what to do about Ethan and Note who risked everything for her and already accomplished the impossible in “Chasing the Demon”.
My Thoughts mk3

Oh my gosh where do I start. I have been hanging out for this book since I finished Chasing the Demon in July last year. I’ve now read it and Loved it, but am sitting here trying to figure out how to tell you about the story without spoiling it.

At the start of the book we get a wonderful summary of the story so far. I loved the idea of the refresher summary and I loved the execution – It was like a warm hug from a friend I hadn’t seen in ages.

Each book introduced new charters while keeping the old, so yes there were a lot of characters to keep track off by the end of it, but the writing is easy to read and keeping up with them all wasn’t a problem. I found that the jumping around between the thirteen different POV characters pushed the story along at a ferocious pace.

This book has; action, adventure, danger, magic, romance, and of course the destroyer.
I was enthralled with the world Louise created after only a few chapters of the first book and she’s kept me so the whole way through, but alas, now the trilogy is complete.
The only bad thing I can say about this, the third book, is that it isn’t long enough. I would have loved to have gotten to spend more time with all of the characters, well most of them anyways.

In the first two books I was rooting for the other guy to win in the love triangle, but the way Louise ended it felt exactly right.

“…they leaped together into the first adventure of the rest of their lives.

The end.”

I’m looking forward to reading whatever Louise White comes up with next.

star.5

Purchase Links:

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon AU | Amazon CA | Apple | Barnes & Nobel

Louise has had a variety of jobs, including waitress, library assistant, nurse, and police officer. She holds a BSc in Health Studies, and a PG certificate in Primary Education. She lives in the scenic west coast of Scotland with her family.

Louise didn’t set out to write Fantasy, but when she sat with her laptop to begin The Calling, it became apparent that she still believed in Bogey Men, the Monster in the cupboard and of course, the Faeries at the bottom of the garden. Suddenly she found that she was writing a story of heroes who could be found both on our doorsteps and in the realms that lie beyond.

Author’s Links:

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

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The Calling, Gateway #1 My Review | Goodreads

Chasing the Demon, Gateway #2 My Review | Goodreads

Vaempires: Zombie Rising

Vaempires: Zombie Rising (The Evolutionary War #2)
by Thomas Winship

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The tale of the Evolutionary War resumes in Væmpires: Zombie Rising.

Væmpires have taken control of twelve major cities. Their leader, Vielyn, seeks the atomic weapons that will bring the rest of the world to its knees.

Vampire forces are reeling. As Linq and Ray race to the royal estate to rendezvous with Cassandra and Daniel, the princess is captured and Daniel falls.

With the fate of world shifting to their teenage shoulders, Linq and Ray must deal with tremendous losses while battling a most unexpected—and undeadly—new foe.

 * * *

The Story starts within Vaempires: The Evolutionary War.
I really liked reading what was happening with Linq and Ray at the different points in the story.
In the first book, it was Daniel and Cassie’s heads through which we saw the world. Now don’t get me wrong, I quite enjoyed it that way, but it was a nice change and I think it added more depth to be in Linq’s mind (a refresher comes later when we get to cross back to Cassie’s any way).

My only qualm with this fast paced and exciting book is that it ended. It leaves us reeling with desire to find out what happens next. Please Mr Winship tell me that the final instalment will be out soon or at least another novella side story or prequel to tide me over.

http://www.vaempires.com

 

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