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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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!

 

Author – New Release – Life in the WarZone

Today I’m introducing Paul White with his new novel – Life in the WarZone

About the author —-

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Paul White is an author, blogger & poet

His writing covers various genres and topics, both fiction and non-fiction and encompass such areas as life, love, anger, anguish, fear, uncertainty, and loss. The common denominator in all of Paul’s works is that they feature the most important matter of all, the human condition.

As for Paul, himself… he has a warped sense of humour, loves good food, good wine and good company. He is an ardent independent traveller, nature lover and supporter of ecological and wildlife preservation.

You can find out more about Paul’s books, his current Works in Progress and Future Projects by visiting http://paulznewpostbox.wix.com/paul-white

You can read a selection of Paul’s short stories at https://alittlemorefiction.wordpress.com

Or, for articles on writing and a writer’s life, go to

https://wordpress.com/stats/ramblingsfromawritersmind.wordpress.com

About the book – 

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Life in the War Zone is not a ‘WAR’ story.

It is a collection of poignant, eye opening stories and articles, written primarily as fictional accounts, yet based on true experiences of people living and working in major war zones around the globe. Each story and article has been formed from interviews, discussions, reports and dialogues from those directly involved and affected by conflict.

Here, with ‘Life in the War Zone’, Paul White has gently coaxed from the depths of people’s hearts the truth of how destructive and debilitating the effects of war are to individuals, families and entire communities.

Each tale reflects true events; Paul has managed to elicit the emotions, the feelings and the inner anxieties of those whose accounts are represented here.

Yet he has also found stories of great courage, fortitude and resilience of human spirit strewn amongst the detritus of war.

Whilst these stories are particular to the individuals to whom they belong, the sad fact is they can easily be told by so many.

This book may be finished, but sadly the strife continues.

 

You can follow Paul at any of his sites – Please check them out 🙂

 

Video Link (book trailer)  https://youtu.be/VAl7Mm1qW9Y

 

PURCHASE LINKS

Paperback.

https://www.createspace.com/6835323

UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=978-1542338707

USA https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=978-1542338707

Ebook purchases – PayPal only. Direct from the author via his website, in the format of your choice (AZW3/Mobi/epub etc.) http://paulznewpostbox.wixsite.com/paul-white

OR by email paulznewpostbox@gmail.com

 

 

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.

 

Sci Fan Magazine – Feb issue

I have been so bad at doing the self promo stuff. And let this one get into February before posting.  oops. My bad.

But of course we’re in this months mag, and it’s a great one! promise.
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I got my printed copies today of the mag, and I’m still so very impressed. The second part to Octav and Chace’s story is out. 🙂 This was co-written, by myself and Steven Kogan (whose novel will be published this year! as a spin off from our TV series penned in 2010) and of course we had some parts read out by the amazing Jeff Hays over on twitch!

from 35.05 – over at – https://www.twitch.tv/videos/118348053

I know you want to go listen in! Go go go!

This is the fab logline from the short –

With King Valor dead and pandemonium spreading, Kendro must make the journey to see the Heart while Octav takes on his new role as Ainoren and attempts to prevent all-out war.

So go grab a copy, pick it up as an ebook or the real deal a printed mag!  This one is much brighter and better than the first! The mag founders took all comments to heart on their first pub and I love how this one turned out!

PS…. you have to wait for the next one, this is a double whammy! from Team TSK!

heheehehhe