Books of All Shades!

So, today Writer’s Life’s Work is excited to present a new project.

Along with my incredible friend, and writing co-worker Jay Gladstone, and the amazing Author-To-Be Emily Quinn, we would all like to announce this mysterious, and exciting new thing we have been coming up with. Our new BOOK CLUB!

– TAA DAA!

Well, actually it was my ideas; I’m not sure if the two of them, are tagging along for the pity, that I would be standing alone, or that they think it’s a good idea. 😉

Anyway, we are so excited to announce the book club; Books of All Shades, to be OPEN.

So, what is this book club really, is it like any other? Heck no, with the team we have put together; there’s fun, teasing, encouragement, support and lots of laughter. We haven’t met in real life, yet! But, I kind of feel like I have known the two of them, for the longest time.

The main focus about this book club, aside from reading more books ourselves, we would like to kill two birds with one stone, (I know dark humor, Jay and I have that in common, it’s addicting, haha!) We all agree, that it’s so IMPORTANT! To help other, struggling Indie Authors, getting their work out there, spreading the words, giving a review, it is so crucial to Indie Writer/Authors to get a review, and getting new eyes to their work.

So, we figured that by us reading indie books, we would bring not only one, but THREE REVIEWS (or maybe more) to the author’s book. We have all learned how important it is to have a support system within this writing world, and the writing community is amazing. People are so nice, and helpful. Spread out greatness, and it will all come back to you tenfold!

We will all agree on a book, and then have around two weeks to read it, then we will share out thoughts on it, and each make a rating, and a review on the sites needed; Goodreads, Amazon, Blogs.. You name it!

A little about the crazy bunch!

Justin Jay Gladstone, is the determined, and hard-working, successful author of The Other Side. I absolutely loved his book, and getting to know him better, made me love his book even more, there’s depth, mystery and even a little danger.

Follow Him! – @TheOtherSideEB

 

Emily Quinn, is one of the sweetest, and caring persons I’ve met, (I kind of feel Jay rolling his eyes at me for saying this, but she is.. Cliché, maybe but who cares!) She amazing, and I have yet to read her novel, The Kind Stranger which she has yet to write. I’m ecstatic to see what she comes up with, and I know she will do find in this years Nanowrimo.

Follow Her! –  @QuintillionEm

These two are proof, that it’s possible creating great friendships within the world of writing.

And then, there’s me.
Maria E. L. Thomassen.

My story is actually a trilogy, about a princess, who has every odds against her, fantasy, mystery and excitement. That is at the moment, called back to the drawing board. I have teamed up with the incredible Mr. Gladstone, to create magic with his mind, and my own, so I guess I have yet to see what that turns out to be as well. So, you will have to stay tuned, and see what pops up on in here, and on my sites.

And I like the fact, that Em and I are starting this journey together, supporting each other, being watched from above by the Master Mind, Jay! Haha, 😉

Let’s hear it from them; why they think this is a good ideas, and what they think we will gain from this;

Miss Quinn;

The day Maria told us about her idea really made me stop and think; just imagine the support and encouragement we could give new indie authors at the most crucial time in their writing careers! I for one always appreciate honest feedback, so our little book club will give new authors the best constructive criticisms and a chance to really shine through with their work. The ability to give an author multiple reviews on different platforms can sometimes take an age, so I think the club will really help give a big push on that and help an author build an awareness of their book(s) and themselves. The more people who join us, the more we get to help others just like ourselves to promote their novels and provide some of the most honest and sincere reviews around.

As well as our desire to help the authors of today, we’ll also be able to gain a lot from the club. As budding authors ourselves, Maria, Jay and I will really be able to benefit from reading the work of others and as any author knows, reading is the best research! It’s also a great way to make friends with other authors and writers, and to create one big happy community.
Mr. Gladstone;

I’m really excited for what this book club is to become. I expect to meet a lot of fellow writers, indie authors, and fellow readers. I look forward to hearing everyone’s opinions on ‘good’ books. 🙂 
So, if you’re looking to join a book club of the crazy and fun kind, this bunch would be a perfect match for you, however you will have to be quick, the spots are limited. We mean to keep the limit to 7 people, so hurry up and get the remaining four spots.

And also; if you are a struggling indie author, looking for a review or have ideas on someone who might, give us a ping, and show us your ideas.

If you have any questions, you can contact either of us on social media, (however if you wanna join, and get into our joined chat group on Whatsapp, you might need Jay.) Em and I are not so good friends with that app. 🙂
– We can’t wait to hear from you guys.

 

Happy Writing & Reading from Books by All Shades!

Maria, Emily and Jay

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Author Interview!

Today’s Special Author; Sara Francis.

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She seems like a beautiful and talented young girl, with a bright mind for planning, executing her projects in style, I have only followed her for a short time, but she seem to do brilliant work. I have ordered her book called; Stardust, and I can’t wait to dive into what her mind will offer.

Here’s a little peak at her books;

Books:

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THE ISLES & THE MAINLAND (part of THE TERRA TESTIMONIES trilogy), STARDUST, and ADVENTURES OF WOBOT

About:
THE ISLES is the first book in THE TERRA TESTIMONIES TRILOGY Short description: A Bionic, a Mutant, and a Geek are forced by their Keepers to team up and prepare to take back the ruined world. Throughout their training, these teens are led to believe that not everything is as it seems.

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THE MAINLAND is the prequel to THE ISLES and part of THE TERRA TESTIMONIES trilogy. Short description: A runaway, a princess, and a thief have been separated at birth in a world that’s falling apart. Their entire lives have been an attempt to escape abduction while trying to survive and prevent the terror, chaos, and destruction happening around them… most of which they are responsible. (THE MAINLAND is scheduled to be released this fall! Pre-order is now available! Contact info@sara-francis.com for more details.)

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STARDUST is a collection of poetry and ADVENTURES OF WOBOT is a series of children’s books. (In this interview, I talk mostly of THE ISLES)

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Give her a follow and like on her;

Website:
http://www.sara-francis.com

Social Media:
IG: @sarafrancis_author
TWITTER: @sfrancis_author
FB: @sarafrancisauthor
GOODREADS: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16935093.Sara_Francis

 

The Q&A’s:

1: What inspired you to start your story/stories?
I’ve been a storyteller ever since I was little, but I didn’t always tell them through written words. I usually told them through music and art. It wasn’t until I had a story-based school assignment that I developed a passion for writing. Not too long after, my friend and I would collaborate on short stories. There was one concept I really liked but we never finished the story, so I told her I would finish it. From there, my first book THE ISLES (Book 1 of THE TERRA TESTIMONIES) was born.

2: How did you choose your name for your book/books?
For my trilogy, each title has to do with the names of locations on the earth. The first is THE ISLES, the second THE MAINLAND, and the third THE UNDERGROUND. That is why the trilogy is called THE TERRA TESTIMONIES. Terra meaning Earth and testimonies because they are first person narratives. My other book titles are pretty self explanatory. ADVENTURES OF WOBOT is about my robot Wobot that goes on adventures and STARDUST is the name of the main poem of the collection.

3: How did you create your Main Character.
I have three main characters for my first book, THE ISLES. Sami was actually an original character from our short story. She is the only OC to make the cut. Her appearance, name, and personality are based off my friend who inspired the story. Alison was a byproduct of the OC I had made within that short story. I needed a strong, caring protagonist who faintly knew the past and was skeptical of the future. And finally, I wanted a character who was intelligent in his innocence. A problem solver but a follower. And so, Aaron of Isle III was born. Fun fact about Aaron is his appearance was inspired by Lewis from Meet the Robinsons.

4: Which genre is your book, and why did you pick that?
THE TERRA TESTIMONIES trilogy is Science Fiction and Utopian/Dystopian. I grew up on Sci Fi. My grandfather is a classic Sci Fi fanatic and we always watched the old movies with him. All the technology and amazing ideas about the future always intrigued me. Personally, I’d always wondered what the future would be like. So, I put my ponderings on paper and shared them with the world.

5: Do you feel sad or excited about tormenting your characters?
Not gonna lie, I cried writing the last chapter of my first book. While I love torturing my characters, I also get mini-depressed when I have to let them go.

6: Five tips you would give to growing writers, about ‘Senses’?
Sometimes, I know we forget that our characters have all the same senses that we do. Describing using all of them from time to time can bring the book to life. Here are five tips I would give about using the senses.

  1. Go out and sense it. —- Whatever you’re trying to write about, go out and get the feel for it yourself! (As long as it is within legal and moral boundaries). For example: Want to know how to describe nature? Go out and smell it, hear it, see it. Experience is the greatest inspiration.
  2. Research. —  Not sure what something looks like? Sounds like? Google it! The internet is a great resource to give you instant answers when in a pinch.
  3. Read! —–  Check out how other authors describe their scenes using their senses. They can help point you in the right direction as to how you want to deliver your message.
  4. Ask around. ——-    If you can’t figure out how to describe that smell and google isn’t helping, ask your friends! Asking real people who experience things like you is the best way to fill in any holes you have in describing something.
  5. Use stronger words. —–     What I mean by this is don’t write something like, “The alleyway smelled.” Yes, that’s using your senses, but it isn’t being very descriptive. Was it good? Was it bad? An example of a stronger word would be, “The alleyway had a putrid stench.”

7: What do you do in case of Writer’s Block?
Cry until my sorrows have consumed me… I’m just kidding. Writer’s block can actually be good sometimes because once it’s over, your inspiration surges through you like waves in a mighty storm. What I usually do is take a quick walk, do some stretches, eat, then eat again, or sit in silence for a few moments. Once my little routine is done, I sit down get distracted by the internet for a moment and then force my fingers to make magic.

8: If you had to compare your book/books to a movie or a series, which would it be?
THE ISLES (and THE TERRA TESTIMONIES trilogy) has been said to be the perfect blend of THE HUNGER GAMES, DIVERGENT, and MAZE RUNNER.

9: Your best marketing tool?
Instagram and personal outreach. Instagram is a popular app for book lovers and authors everywhere and nothing works better than actually talking to your readers. They’re both also a great way to build community!

10: Give your readers some of your most exciting lines from your book.
Ooh that’s a hard one! I have so many that I’d love to share… the book can get very intense. So, here are three.

“If I learned anything from my eight years here it is this: never trust anyone.” – Alison: THE ISLES

“Face it. We were slaves to the devil.” – Cecil: THE ISLES

“Remember this: seek the truth. Once you find it, hold onto it. Fight for it.” – Mark: THE ISLES

11: What’s the meaning of your book title?
THE ISLES simply refers to the 6 islands the members live on.

12: Have you build a Dream Cast, if or when your book becomes a movie? Who’s the cast?
Ooohhhh. To be honest, I never thought too in depth about the characters from THE ISLES, but I DID think of some from book 2, THE MAINLAND… so I’ll give you a few of those instead (I’ll make sure not to include character spoilers 😉 ).
Shane – Dylan O’Brien
Aymie – Claire Foy
Mark – Logan Lerman
Blake Bain – Grant Gustin
Nicolas Eerkens – Chris Hemsworth
Stanley Wyght – Tommy Lee Jones

13: Favorite inspirational Author/Writer?

As a kid, I always loved Margaret Peterson Haddix. Her Utopian/Dystopian THE SHADOW CHILDREN was the first series I read in full and it inspired me so much.

14: Describe your novel/book with three simple words.

It’s all lies.

15: Signature line.

“Be inspired, not intimidated.” This is what I tell everyone. You may look at someone else’s work and feel insecure about your own because for some reason your brain says “you’re not good enough”. That’s a lie. You’re work is incredible and you should own it. You can of course look up to other people and be inspired by them, but don’t let their success intimidate you.


Honestly, I devoured her answers. I truly loved them. It came me a certain boost, to take a step back, and take a look at my own work with other eyes, seeing the beauty in everything we create.
Thank You, Sara for joining me today, does her books sound exciting, I sure am excited to explore them further.

 

Maria

Book Review!

Book Review; The Other Side
by Justin Jay Gladstone/Nitsuj Yaj Enotsdalg.

The Other Side 1

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Through out my life, I haven’t been reading too many books, (I know, shame on me, I am working on it!). But this book did something to me, even before I started reading it.

I came by Jay through instagram, and the way he wrote was so different and captivating, and I immediately knew I would love his book, because of my own believe in the universe and such.

This world he build… Where do I even begin… Everything jumps in time between planets, and though it might seem weird and confusing, it is truly amazing. Jay is an incredible author, his mind is a gift, and his way of creating things with words is inspiring. There’s a lot about time and space, and dates in this book, and to be honest I was confused at first. What an amazing job he did, by keeping track of everything, bravo!!!

He paints a wonderful ‘Worture’. (Picture with words). 🙂
He creates tension, excitement, and even a little danger.

He uses something I have never seen in books before, QR-codes. He paints a picture with words so wonderfully, and then suddenly a code, you scan it, and get a picture of what Jay imagined himself, so you can see if your imagination were close to his, or completely far off. I think he did a great job, showing me what he was seeing himself, instead of telling about it.

We follow a young and confused guy names Leon, he’s been diagnosed with a mental illness, and enrolls in something called the Earthshine Facility, and I like to think of the facility as Area 51, you don’t really know what is really going on in there, not at first at least.
Every character is ratable, and you instantly form a connection with Leon, but still you ask the questions; What the heck, is going on?
Will your questions be answer, well I guess you will have to dive into this amazing tale.

He suddenly finds himself in an unfamiliar place, robbed of his freedom, he is doomed to stay in a place that is not his home, will he ever make it home, or will the Lunae Lux guards find and capture him. Everything is a battle against time, and unknown enemies. Who can you trust, when you can’t even trust yourself, and the voice in your head.

The Other Side, is a wonderful story about a guy, who gets his worlds, turned upside down, literately. You follow everything he goes through, and I kind of felt bad for him a first, and then I blamed him a little bit for what happens, but then everything changed, and I was back at feeling sorry for him. It’s an exciting and emotional ride, poor Leon. What ever will happen to him in the end?

I can’t wait to read what ever comes next from Jay.

Everybody owe it to themselves to read this book!

This book truly deserves the top of the scale;

5 STARS!

 

Maria

 

Selfless & Kind

Helpful Thursday.

My advice for today is to, step out into the world with you work and let people honestly tell you what they think.

There’s so many selfless and kind people out there, in this incredible writing community.

But, in my opinion, you have to be selfless and kind yourself, to receive the same. Offer to read peoples work, always offer a helping hand. Help each other in the best way possible.

Selfless.

People have a tendency to tell how horrible and bad people’s work are. You can deliver a honest response and review with gentle words. Imagine, the way you would have delivered the words for your own book. There will always be people who won’t like your book, and that is okay. Not everybody has the same taste and style as you. But, deliver your words humbled and selfless.

Kindness.

Always be kind, not everyone will be kind to you. But, keep kindness toward everybody and their work. If you don’t like what you read, that’s fine, but tell people in a gentle way. Help them to do better.

So, we kind and brave, share some of your ideas and work with people you trust in the writing community, if you are helpful and kind, then people will have a tendency to do the same!!

Happy Thursday.

Author Interview + New Release!! Jenna Morland.

Today’s interview is with the incredible Jenna Morland, who’s debut novel will be out TODAY!

Jenna

Jenna Morland.

Her debut novel, is this amazing and beautiful book; Empress Unveiled.

New Front

One thing I think is extremely amazing about Jenna, is that she’s a stay-at-home mom, with two children, and still she managed to write a novel, and work on her active Instagram. Jenna does something that inspired me greatly. She’s the Queen of Moodboards. I used this myself a bit, but seeing Jenna’s amazing work, made me wanna expand that. She seems like a girl of many talents, and I am deeply excited to be reading her book in a couple of days.

I have been following Jenna for a while now, through her Instagram and what I could out from that; is that she’s is an amazing person, with a special view of life. She ceases every opportunity she gets to write and to enjoy her life. She’s a beautiful woman, with a crazy personality, colors her hair in crazy colors. She’s an inspiring woman, who does something to the writing community, just by existing. She’s interacting with people and readers, creating an opportunity to get to know her. I wrote her and asked her a few questions, and she answered with her own personality which I think is rare. I have tried to message some other Authors who are doing well for themselves, and either they didn’t response or they gave me an impersonal answer. So, I was actually surprised by her response, and felt excited. For me, she seems like a person who will do almost anything to help, she’s kindhearted and talented, and I praise myself lucky to have her on my list on Instagram, and I enjoy following her journey and her posts. She seems genuine and I am honored that she wanted to give me a chance to interview her, and share apart of her with all of you.

I gave her a bunch of questions, and she answered them with her incredible mind and personality.

If you wanna follow her journey and amazing posting abilities, check her out on;

Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/jennamorland
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/jennamorland
Website: http://www.jennamorland.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/jennamorlandauthor

Here’s the Q&A’s:

1: What inspired you to start your story/stories?

It was winter, the nights were long and cold. I went to the local bookstore, searched online even, and I just couldn’t find what I was looking for in a book. So, I sat down and wrote the book I wanted to read.

2: What’s your favorite writing place/spot?

I have two young children and a husband who works out of town a lot. I am usually always at home when I write, either on my patio, on my couch or in bed! I did most of my editing at Starbucks though. Editing is a different beast entirely!

3: How did you choose your name for your book/books?

My publisher and I brain stormed possible names for the book and we new Empress needed to be in the title. It has many different meanings and each of these meanings are revealed throughout the book. That’s where Unveiled comes in. This word has special meaning to me which I can’t say the reasoning without spoilers. Aside from that, Empress Unveiled just sounds… pretty!

4: How did you create your Main Character?

Swayzi is a combination of characters that I have loved over the years. I think there is a bit of me in her as well. But mostly, I wanted to create a character that was believable, and one that girls of all ages could relate to.

5: Describe your novel/book with three simple words.

Oh that’s hard… Umm… Heartbreak. Magic. Crown.

6: Who is your favorite kind of character to write?

I love writing Tyler. He is so human. He is complicated, a bit of a screw up, but he loves hard. I also love writing Linda who is Swayzi’s mom, she is the best.

7: Do you feel sad or excited about tormenting your characters?

A bit of both. For instance, I am writing the sequel and I know one of the characters I really care about is going to die. But I know it is right for the story so I go with my gut.

8: Five tips you would give growing writers, about ´Senses’?

I am not a classically trained writer, and the way I go about it might be a little different from most. I see the story in my mind like a movie, and each time I sit down to write I step into the scene. I can look around at what is near me, the temperature of the room, and what it smells like. I think the trick is in the tiny details, but be careful not to over do it.

9: If you had to compare your book/books to a movie or a series, which would it be?

I think there’s a mixture of Fallen, The Mortal Instruments series, The Fault in Our Stars, and Twilight.

10: What does it say on your favorite cup?

A friend of mine got me a mug for Christmas that says #published. She calls it my smug mug.

11: How did you plan on reaching your readers?

As soon as I signed with Oftomes I started building my social media. It’s a fantastic way to reach readers and connect with book bloggers and other authors. I love doing mood boards of the story by bringing it to life with photos. I like sharing bits of my life, what I’m currently reading and the trials of writing a sequel. Social media gives the readers an opportunity to know the author and to learn more about the story and the characters.

12: What do you do in case of Writer’s Block?

I don’t think I have ever truly had writers block. The kind where you can’t put any words on paper. That being said, I have definitely struggled with the sequel, and balancing writing while being a mother of 2 and the addition of the release of Empress Unveiled was certainly difficult. I did a lot of writing sprints, where you set a timer for 25 min and write as many words as you can with no distractions. It helped me get out of my head a bit and stop self-editing as I wrote. I think I am finally hitting my stride with the sequel and it feels pretty good.

13: have you build a Dream Cast, if or when your book becomes a movie? Who’s the cast?

I would LOVE Elle Fanning as Swayzi. Nick Robinson from Love, Simon is totally my Tyler. I like Molly Ringwald for Linda. I haven’t been able to cast Daylan yet… I think he would be the hardest one.

14: Your favorite writing soundtrack song?

Let It Go by James Bay and Wait by M83

15: Signature line.

A small dream takes just as much energy as a big dream, so why not dream big?

16; Bonus Question, she actually answered this by a mistake, but I loved the answer, so I wanted to use it. How did you choose your Main Characters names?

I love Patrick Swayze. I cried when he died, actually. Dirty Dancing is, and probably always will be my favorite film. Naming my main character after him was a no brainer. I needed Tyler’s name to be relatable and very simple. He’s a guys guy. Daylan’s name is more fantastical and intriguing, which pretty much sums him up perfectly.

I hope you enjoyed this as much as I did. I am excited to read her book, and I think you will be too, if you give her a follow and see what incredible work she does.

Thank you so much, Jenna Morland for joining me today!