Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Brenda Drake Shares Wisdom & Guardian of Secrets (Library Jumpers #2)

I am so excited to have this author and her latest book take a stroll through YA in the Alleyway! She's not only paying a visit to celebrate all the pretties of her latest tale. But also to share some writerly wisdom with you. For you writer folks out there, if you've ever trudged through the transition of carrying your story from book 1 to book 2 then you'll want to listen up. I can't wait to read what she
has to say! So please give a warm welcome to NYT Best Selling Author Brenda Drake!

"How to successfully move from the end of book 1 to book 2 in a series." 
(Methods, fun, continuing threads...)
by Brenda Drake

Writing a series takes a lot of care and mapping out each book with one central plot that arcs over all the books in the series. When moving from book one to book two in the Library Jumpers series, I had to weave in many things introduced in the first book into the second one. Keeping a story bible filled with details on characters, settings, and the rules of the world you’ve created.

World-building is so important in my fantasy book. I have to keep track of how the magic works, what’s the rule of the land in the Mystik realm, the cultures in the havens and covens, and the environment in each one. This also goes into the story bible. Keeping one is very helpful when I forget what a character looks or haven looks like.

Each of my books in the Library Jumpers series has its own arc and threat. At the end, there’s a resolution to that threat, but there isn’t one for the plot arc that arches over all three books. I leave my readers with a “happy for now” feeling at the end of each book. Writers of series need to decide if they’re going to end each book on a cliff hanger or do as I do with mine.

It’s important to keep the voices the same across the books in a series. I’d read a chapter in book one before starting to write book two. To get back into my narrator’s voice. Setting is important in a series. It’s like its own character and should feel the same throughout the series. The details matter and they should be the same in all books of the series. You don’t want everything to stay the same. Introducing new characters and new places will keep the reader interested in the world you’ve created.

A great way to keep track of the characters and settings in your story is to create a Pinterest board. I have one for each of my books. It helps to look back at book one’s board while I’m writing book two. You don’t have to make the board public. I only make mine public after a book releases. You can also do your own story board on poster and keep it by your desk if you don’t like doing things on the computer. Anything, to help you visualize your world will work.

Staying organized and jotting down all the important information about your world will help you transition from one book to another in a series. What tips do you have that help you keep organized while writing?
Brenda Drake is a New York Times bestselling author of Thief of Lies (Library Jumpers #1), Guardian of Secrets (Library Jumpers #2), Touching Fate (Fated Series #1), and Cursing Fate (Fated Series #2). She grew up the youngest of three children, an Air Force brat, and the continual new kid at school. She hosts workshops and contests for writers such as Pitch Wars and Pitch Madness on her blog, and holds Twitter pitch parties on the hashtag, #PitMad. When she’s not writing or hanging out with her family, she haunts libraries, bookstores, and coffee shops, or reads someplace quiet and not at all exotic (much to her disappointment).   
Find her: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Goodreads

Now let's take a peek at her pretties!

Guardian of Secrets (Library Jumpers #2)
by Brenda Drake

Release Date: February 7, 2017
Publisher: Entangled Teen

Description: Being a Sentinel isn’t all fairytales and secret gardens.

Sure, jumping through books into the world’s most beautiful libraries to protect humans from mystical creatures is awesome. No one knows that better than Gia Kearns, but she could do without the part where people are always trying to kill her. Oh, and the fact that Pop and her had to move away from her friends and life as she knew it.

And if that isn’t enough, her boyfriend, Arik, is acting strangely. Like, maybe she should be calling him “ex,” since he’s so into another girl. But she doesn’t have time to be mad or even jealous, because someone has to save the world from the upcoming apocalypse, and it looks like that’s going to be Gia.

Maybe. If she survives.

For your convenience, here's the first book in the series.

Description: Gia Kearns would rather fight with boys than kiss them. That is, until Arik, a leather
clad hottie in the Boston Athenaeum, suddenly disappears. While examining the book of world libraries he abandoned, Gia unwittingly speaks the key that sucks her and her friends into a photograph and transports them into a Paris library, where Arik and his Sentinels—magical knights charged with protecting humans from the creatures traveling across the gateway books—rescue them from a demonic hound.

Jumping into some of the world's most beautiful libraries would be a dream come true for Gia, if she weren’t busy resisting her heart or dodging an exiled wizard seeking revenge on both the Mystik and human worlds. Add a French flirt obsessed with Arik and a fling with a young wizard, and Gia must choose between her heart and her head, between Arik's world and her own, before both are destroyed.
Thank you for stopping by to share such great advice with us. Wishing you all the success in the future!
Alleywalkers! I want to thank you for sticking around, while I learn to navigate the business of having a book out in the wild. Your patience and loyalty amaze me! Ooh, and make sure you enter Brenda's great giveaway. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Share one thing that struck you about what Brenda shared. Please and thank you!

YA in the Alleyway is my meme to give young adult literature the spotlight it deserves. It also gives YA authors the opportunity to share their signature with the world! 

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

IWSG~Living The Honor

Everyone likes to win. We've all had someone in our lives cheer us on, whether it be in the Arts, Athletics, Academics, or Another Personal Skill. And I'm sure most of you have heard that it's not about winning, but about doing your personal best. Wisdom like this is character building and matures a soul in their journey of life. BUT...

Let's be honest. No one really likes to lose. Coming up short of winning whatever prize you're after can conjure doubt that you have any skill at all, that you should have tried harder, or that - gosh forbid - you shouldn't have tried at all. It can make you question the road you've chosen to even get to this point. The winner's circle possesses a euphoria all its own. And no matter what goal you're chasing after, when you finally catch it and make it heed to your talents you feel like you could fly. 

But what do you do with that winning sense, that high that comes with learning you're on top? 

Recently, I've been blessed with a bit of winning of my own. As some of you already know, my middle grade novel Motley Education has been named 1st Place Winner 2016 New England Book Festival, Children's Category. (What you don't know yet is that I received an email two days ago informing me that Motley has won another award! I am beyond humbled, but that will be for another post.)

When I learned that Motley had won an award my first reaction was "No way. It must be a typo." I felt incredibly unworthy and, frankly, even embarrassed. Who the heck am I that my work just got recognized? And before you pat me on the back to encourage me, look at yourself. Look how talented you are and all you've accomplished with your writing. How could I compare to that?

This past weekend, my husband and I attended the 2016 New England Book Festival literary awards ceremony held in Boston, MA. Top literature in an array of categories from science and general fiction to young adult and children's books were honored. Winners, runner-ups, and honorable mentions were in attendance as well as publicists and publishers accepting awards on behalf of their authors. Upon accepting their award, authors were inviting to share a bit about their award-winning book and its journey to publication. 

I won't tell you about my little acceptance speech. What I want to share with you is something I learned from another author there. She began her speech not about herself or her award-winning book, but about how important it is to embrace and honor the accomplishment. She, too, had felt unworthy like I did and would much rather have swept it under the rug so no one could see it. But she had a wise writing mentor who changed her mind. He told her taking ownership that her work has been recognized above other works in her field will only fuel her confidence to work harder exploring human existence through tales that move the heart, mind, and soul. But to do this, she must give herself permission to embrace the achievement. Let it be the frosting on the literary cake she's already baked and enjoy the dessert. Sure, she'll bake more literary cakes, and sure someone else's work might get recognized over hers. But this one belongs to her. And along with her humbled appreciation and gratitude of the award, she must honor the honor by believing that she is worthy of it. 💖

(The purpose of the
 IWSG is to share and encourage, posting on the first Wednesday of each month. You'll find writer doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Support and a common understanding spread throughout the group as many fellow writers can relate. Feel free to JOIN in anytime.)


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