SciFi Blog tour – Tabitha

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Bio

Tabitha Chirrick is an author of all things speculative, geeky, and/or badass. Her most recent release is a YA Space Opera called Overshadowed, which she feels includes an about-right number of explosions. She makes her base in a little-known town so close to San Diego that it’s just much easier to say “San Diego.” She lives in San Diego.

Tell us about your novel, Overshadowed.

Sure thing! Overshadowed is a YA Sci-fi about an orphaned refugee who teams up with a raider princess and a dangerous test subject to take down a group of invading alien shapeshifters called Rokkir. I like to pitch is as Star Wars meets Avatar: The Last Airbender (the kickass TV show, not the movie)

It’s got space pirates, war-time intrigue, explosions, and just a dash of romance. I had a lot of fun writing this one, and I’m currently working on its sequel.

 

What is the hardest thing about writing?

That’s a tough one, because writing can be pretty challenging. Developing three dimensional characters with meaningful arcs that affect story, developing story that lets characters shine, filling in plot holes, developing a unique voice, pacing everything just right… It’s almost like a giant, 3,000 piece puzzle, and it has to be assembled perfectly for it to actually work.

But I think one of the hardest parts – despite all that – is pushing through the insecurity those challenges can bring about. In the middle of writing a book, it can feel pointless, like the story is total garbage, like the characters are uninteresting cardboard cutouts of overused cliches, like there are a million other books out there better than the one I’m working on, so why even bother?

I think writing itself is challenging, but oftentimes, the biggest challenge is me getting in my own way. I relentlessly pull in outside factors that have nothing to do with the story. Things like: would other writers judge me for this? Is this even good? Does anyone really love me? Maybe I should become a doctor instead.

I see a lot of other writers do this, too. We get in our own ways. But when I can push those doubts away (especially the all-consuming question of whether or not my fans are shills paid by my mom) I make progress. Then it’s a matter of fitting the puzzle together, piece by piece.

Do you let the book stew – leave it for a month and then come back to it to edit?

I think I end up having long periods of time between one writing binge and another, but it’s never really planned. When I hand off my story to beta readers, for example, I stop working on the book because what’s the point of continuing to work while I’m waiting for the feedback that’s going to inform my editing process?

As for writing a draft and leaving it to simmer, wanting for the light of day, I’m not good at that. I’ve heard the endless benefits of letting a book percolate, but upon finishing a draft, I’m always motivated to get cracking on the next one. I do my best work when I’m motivated, so for me it would be silly not to work for the sake of…what, not working, so later when I’m unmotivated and have to remind myself of the story’s intricate details, I can work harder? I guess? This idea has never jived with me. Breaks from happenstance? Sure. Forced breaks? Ehhhh. Know your process and what works for you, is the advice I try to write by.

What would you say are the main advantages and disadvantages of self-publishing and traditional publishing?

I think the decision of how to publish is very personal. It depends on you, what kind of career you want, what kind of books you write, and how you want to spend your time. I think citing certain things as advantages or disadvantages is a little presumptive, because everyone has different tastes. Some people might not want to have “full control.” They might not care about choosing their cover designer, they might not care about setting their price point. Other authors might care less about being on a bookshelf and more about having a professional editor they don’t have to vet and pay for. I believe everyone chooses their publishing path for their own reasons, and despite a lot of pushback on self-publishing, I think both paths are valid.

I chose to self-publish Overshadowed. For me, the biggest benefit of this path is that I get out directly what I put in. The harder I work, the better I write, the smarter I market, the more I blog and connect with my fans, the more people buy my book. If I get lazy, my numbers drop. There’s no relying on anyone else to do their job right. There’s no getting frustrated at a team who isn’t giving my writing enough attention. There’s just me working for me, and I like that. I like seeing the direct results of my efforts.

The biggest benefits of traditional publishing – in my mind – are validation and reach.  Self-publishing doesn’t prohibit you from hiring a professional cover designer, a professional editor, or even a publicist, if you really want one, but it’s unlikely you have decades of contacts and tried and true relationships with booksellers. If I’m willing to spend the money, I can get a product comparable to a traditionally published book, but I’d be hard-pressed to get it into international bookstores.

As for validation, how fulfilling is being “chosen?” That’s pleasant to anybody. Who doesn’t want to rise to the top of a slush pile and “win” an agent and get paid in advance for something they wrote? I imagine to many traditionally published authors who look down on self-publishing, self-publishing looks like cheating. Skipping the slush pile? Making some money anyway? Come on, man. No one likes a cheater.

I think the real winners in this game are the hybrid authors, though. In fact, one of my favorite authors, Rachel Aaron, is hybrid, and she has an EXCELLENT article on self-publishing vs. traditional publishing. I highly recommend it if you want answers instead of my senseless ramble.

Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?

I wrote a ton of stories as a kid, but even though it’s not the first, my most memorable early creation was a short, hand-drawn picture book for a school contest I made when I was in second grade. The book was called “The Tiger’s Lunch.”

I’m pretty sure the story followed a Toucan who was trying very hard not to end up the tiger’s lunch. In the end, Toucan made Tiger a sandwich, and they ended up being pals. It won second place. I don’t remember getting the award, but I like to falsely remember that my acceptance speech involved a sombering tirade about breaking down barriers between bird and feline kind. And maybe that is what happened. I hear the book did much for Toucan-Tiger relations.

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AudioBook Review – Clan

If you really love Sci Fi like I do. This is a total MUST listen. I loved, loved it.


Clan | [Realm Lovejoy]

“One of the best I’ve ever listened to.”

This was a really interesting story. As a Jeff fan, I can’t help myself, so picked this up as soon as he posted on facebook.

What I really loved about this story was just that, the story. It was so intricate, so well written and of course performed that I was totally hooked in from the first five minutes. This is, in fact going to be one of my all time favourites probably for a long time. If I could give this one 10 stars I would.

The characters in here, were so deep and wonderfully developed, their backstory and lives just so heartbreaking and wonderful. I felt and went through their journey with them and was on the edge of my seat with it many, many times.

I think my only criticism was the ending and I won’t spoil it for anyone, honestly I think it could have ended much sooner. But, that’s my only real quibble. I don’t know if this is going to be something there can be another story with but I’ll be watching for more, especially from the writer, it was just brilliant. Thank you very much for this. Some of the best hours I’ve spent listening.

🙂

Our books are not free!

The biggest event on facebook, I’ve seen in a while! and it starts soon!

https://www.facebook.com/events/206705409792190/

Sorry facebook for the double tap. Well worth it I think. 🙂

I’ve had the best time since we launched TSK’s second book in December, with a really well laid out plan of attack and some well-placed blogs and adds, we’re doing okay, sales and KU reads are really steady! and I’m proud of that.

But in the launch I did what most authors do, I had giveaway prizes. I love and will always love doing things for others if they REALLY want them, but I gave away between 2 events over 16 audiobooks, out of those prize winners only 6 actually have claimed their books.

These books cost a tonne of money to produce, and each gift costs around $20 or £20 (we’re almost even in cash value)

So I gave away £200 worth of goods, that no one really wanted.

So when a facebook friend decided enough was enough and she shared her idea on this event, I fully supported her, and I’m very proud of the gathering that is involved with this event.

Writing is not easy, it’s fun… sure.

It can be highly stressful too.

It is expensive.

To compete in the real world we have to pay out for many things.

Editing,

Cover art…

Proofing.

Marketing.

Our time is worth something.

Yet, all the time, artists and not just in the writing world are berated and asked for stuff for free.

My other qualm was before my book launch in December I took part in a big event for a $100 amazon gift card. We gathered email addresses for our mailing lists, which was fab.

However in January and up to date, because I gave my email address in, I’ve had over 350 emails, with authors GIVING books away for free 😦

I am very saddened by this, and it has to stop.

We are worth it!

Our time is worth it. You as a reader want hour after hour of entertainment, right?

But you won’t pay more than 2.99 ?

What’s that coffee cost you there, that you’re drinking? how much is that barista on per hour?

Yeah, you get my point, right?

I love my readers, and I love my fans, the comments and notes I get all over social media make my day, but I have to eat, I have to put a roof over my head.

Hugs to you all, and I really, really hope you guys will support this fab event.

I’ve got spending money tonight! So I’m going to buy some amazing books from some of these fabulous authors!

 

New Release – A Cry for Help

 

Check it out, I’m reading through this at the moment, and it’s written so very well. 🙂

 

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Blurb –

Eleven want to die

Who will answer their cry?

AMAZON UNIVERSAL LINK:

getBook.at/CRYFORHELP

MY WEBSITE:

www.stratfordlivingpublishing.com

TWITTER:

#bookboost is my tag

TWITTER NAME:

@cathymcgough1

FACEBOOK:

https://www.facebook.com/Cry-For-Help-by-Cathy-McGough-1088501671259663/

https://www.facebook.com/cathymcgoughauthor/

 

BIO

Cathy McGough whose work has been published in over nine countries, is the author of fiction, poetry, short stories and non-fiction. In addition to her Best Selling two-part YA Series A Mathematical State of Grace which was nominated for a SIBA in the best Dystopian category in 2016 in the US, her works include: Interviews With Legendary Writers From Beyond, which won 2nd in the SIBA Best Literary Fiction Category in the US in 2016; 103 Fundraising Ideas For Parent Helpers With Schools & Teams which won 3rd in the SIBA Best Reference Category in the US in 2016; Painting With Words which was nominated for a SIBA in the Best Poetry category in the US in 2016; Three Friends; Death Wish; Parade; Trapped. She lives and writes in Stratford, Ontario, Canada with her husband, son and two cats. She is a professional member of the Canadian Authors Association.

 

Joanna’s Journey – Review

After reading ‘The Secret Will Out’ by Karen J Mossman in print. I looked up and found she had several other books out, and this was the latest release.

Here’s my review of this lovely heartfelt book –

Amazon review – 
There are a couple of things I really enjoyed with Karen’s writing, from the detail of the worlds she’s created, (and the facts that around that, the story was built into a local city that I visited quite often) to the depth of the characters. Each novel, has had it’s own unique and outstandingly natural storyline. They’re almost so believable that you’d mistake her for your flawed best friend, who can be both amazing and yet stupid and frustrating all at the same time. I found her just so relatable, that of course I wanted the best for her in her love life, falling for two guys has to be the hardest thing to go through, not knowing if you’ll ever make the right decision or not.

A heartfelt journey that will make you laugh, cringe and cry with all it’s intricate character traits and plot turns. Karen is an excellent writer to follow. I’m so glad she’s almost a local lass 🙂

Blurb – 

Escaping a broken romance, Joanna runs headlong into another, and then another.

Managing two long distance relationships at the same time is complicated and made even more so when her best friend is a good looking guy who knows her better than most.

Set in the 1980s, Joanna and her sister, Sandie are two very beautiful women. After a cruel upbringing, both girls have their scars, but deal with things differently and as with most sisters, they clash.

When the unthinkable happens and Joanna’s world implodes, she finds herself alone to face what she can’t and won’t accept.

It is times like these you find out who your friends are and who you can trust, or more importantly, who you can’t.

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Karen’s Bio

Karen J Mossman married the boy next door in 1980 and they had two children, both born on the same day, two years apart. She and her husband live on the Isle of Anglesey, a small island off the North Wales coast. Joanna’s Journey was her first published novel.

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You can also find Karen on her Social Media Links here…. 

Facebook  –  https://www.facebook.com/karenjmossmanauthor

Facebook –   https://www.facebook.com/Kazzmoss

Twitter – @KarenJMoss

Google+ https://plus.google.com/101513298666906301324/posts

Goodreads.com  – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/9814921.Karen_J_Mossman

Website – Magic of stories – https://magicofstories.net

Bookstore – https://magicofstories.selz.com