Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Jennifer M Eaton Guest Post: If you could choose, what super power would you pick?

So I know I haven't been blogging much, and that I've pretty much disappeared from social media in general. If anyone's noticed, it's because I'm currently on board an alien spaceship and we're plotting the best way to take over Earth (only not really.) I'd like to thank Jennifer, who is currently promoting her YA (aimed at people like ME woooo) The First Day of New Tomorrow, for rolling in here to discuss superpowers and stuff (it seems my codename for her, SUPER EATON, was actually verrrrry accurate. My superpower is telling the future.)

SO LET'S TURN IT OVER TO SUPER EATON!:

When I set out to write “The First Day of the New Tomorrow” I knew it was going to be a superhero story. But that was about it.

I decided to start off with a girl not unlike myself as a kid. I think I was pretty normal… not really happy with my looks, wished I was better in sports, etc. I modeled my character after what I considered the lowest of the low in a teenager’s self-esteem. (I think it’s a place everyone hits at one time during their
life)

Anyway… Then I got to the the fun stuff. Since it was my story, I got to PICK what super power to give myself. Hey, good deal, huh?

I went down the list… Flight? Nah. That’s been over-done. Most of the Super Friends can do that. It just wasn’t interesting.

Invulnerability? Hmm. That could be fun. But I didn’t want this to be a Super-Girl knock-off.

Super Strength? Nah, same problem as above.

Then I remembered… It’s MY STORY. Why limit myself?

So I went for the big tamale… omnipotence. Well, almost omnipotence. There has to be rules for
everything, right?

And there’s also consequences. But that’s not the fun part, so let’s push that aside for a second.

Imagine yourself in high school, and one day you wake up, and your every thought becomes a reality.

Pretty cool, huh?

Yeah, Maya thinks so, too. Until things begin to go very wrong.

It’s not easy to control your thoughts, is it? Ever been angry at someone? It can get pretty ugly, can’t it?

Maya finds out that omnipotent power can be as much a curse as it is a blessing, and not all things can
be undone.

That kind of makes super powers not sound so super, doesn’t it?

So what do you think you would do? If you could have any power imaginable, what super power would you pick, and maybe more importantly—What would you do with it?

***

WANNA KNOW MORE ABOUT JENNIFER? Here's a bio!

Jennifer M. Eaton is a contemporary blender of Science Fiction, Dystopian, and Romance. Her
work ranges from the sweet contemporary romances of Paper Wishes, to the dystopian society of
Last Winter Red and Optimal Red, with a dusting of young adult paranormal just for fun in The
First Day of the New Tomorrow.

While not off visiting other worlds, Jennifer calls the East Coast of the USA home, where she lives with her wonderfully supportive husband, three energetic boys, and a pepped up poodle.

Full time team leader, full time mom, and full time novelist... what more can you ask for?

Writing help did you say? Well, sure! Jennifer hosts an informational blog aimed at helping
all writers be the best they can be. Stop on by and chat. She loves to hear from fans! http://www.jennifermeaton.com/

***

Her contemporary sweet romance, Paper Wishes is currently available in ebook format. The Dystopian
novelette “Last Winter Red” is available as part of the “Make Believe” Anthology. Each title is available
from Amazon.com and Barnesandnoble.com and Smashwords.

Paper Wishes: Jill has no idea what she wants for Christmas, but when it looks like her best friend Jack
is going to get exactly what he asks for, Jill makes a Christmas wish that will change both of their lives
forever.

Last Winter Red: In search of a husband, Emily leaves the safety of the city and risks her life stepping
into the outside world. What she finds there will question the foundations of everything she believes in.

Available as part of the Make Believe anthology.

The First Day of the New Tomorrow: Maya dreams of having everything she wants, but when she gets it,
she can’t give it back fast enough. (Coming in September, 2013 from Muse It Up)

Purchase Links:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Jennifer-M.-Eaton/e/B00BEP9L1E/?_encoding=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&linkCode=ur2&qid=1375545914&sr=8-4&tag=jennifermeato-20

 Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/c/jennifer-m.-eaton

Muse It up: https://museituppublishing.com/bookstore/index.php/young-adult/the-first-
day-of-the-new-tomorrow-detail

Sunday, 11 August 2013

Paper Wishes Blog Tour: Interview with Jennifer M Eaton (codename: Super Eaton.)




HEY READERS AND ALIENS AND CHEESE THAT CAN READ.
 So, Jennifer M Eaton, author is on tour, and her rickety tour bus is rolling in at this blog. We've had her here before, and if you want to check out her previous interview for 'Last Winter Red, go ahead!
 Back to now. Over chocolate and cheese (not really) we discussed 'Paper Wishes', a festive romance. Here's the tagline:

Paper Wishes:  Jill has no idea what she wants for Christmas, but when it looks like her best friend Jack is going to get exactly what he asks for, Jill makes a Christmas wish that will change both of their lives forever. 
 And after that short whiff of awesomeness, let's get down to that interview!
 
1) Reading your blog, I've noticed you like things to blow up. 'Paper Wishes' is different to a lot of the stuff you've done in the past. What made you write it? 
I have a tragic flaw.  I am hyper-competitive, and someone challenged me to write a romance.  It was winter at the time, so I grabbed that as a season, and I threw in a little holiday magic to make it more interesting to me. Poof!  A romance writer is born. 
2) Was there any reason you chose the names Jack and Jill for your main characters? Are there any hidden links to the nursery rhyme?
Ha!  No link at all.  When I started writing, I wasn’t totally serious about it. I used the names Jack and Jill as placeholders, expecting to change them later.  As I was writing though, I became quite fond of the characters, and the names just seemed to fit.  I figured that there are probably a lot of couples out there with the names Jack and Jill, so this is a nod to people who hear the obvious joke every day.
3) What would you say Jill's biggest flaw is? What about Jack's? (Flawed characters are the BEST.)
Jill’s biggest flaw is that she cares too much about others.  Specifically, her daughter.  Jill is the product of a broken marriage, and thinks little of herself. In her mind, her daughter has more value, and she sacrifices herself to make Nicky happy.  She has to learn that making herself happy can have a snowball effect.
Jack’s biggest flaw is fear.  He’s in love with Jill, but he’s afraid to approach her because they are already best friends, and he doesn’t want to ruin that.  He pushes his feelings aside, hiding under the guise that Jill is not “ready” to date after her divorce. He hides his feelings so deeply that he convinces himself he loves another, when deep down he knows this woman will make him miserable.
4) If you could sum 'Paper Wishes' up in just five words, what would they be and why?
“Careful what you wish for.”   
Yep.  That’s just perfect.  Paper Wishes is all about three wishes that come true.  The thing is, you are not always sure what you wish for, or that your wish will come true in the way you intended.  Surprises are the spice of life, right?
5) If you were to meet Jill in real life, what advice would you give her?

Let your hair down.  Have a little fun. But not too much fun.  Happiness falls somewhere between the comfort Jill is accustomed to, and Jack’s “live life to the fullest” attitude.

6) Are you a plotter or a butt in chair and hope for the best kind of person?
I used to write by the seat of my pants, and it was very fun.  It was like sitting down to a TV show every time I wrote.  I never knew what would happen.  The result, though, was hundreds of thousands of words (Literally—like 800 pages) of mostly unusable material.
Since I started plotting and thinking the whole story through before I got started, good things started happening for me. I am now a big fan of the outline.
7) What sort of things will you be working on next? Fantasy or contemporary? Young adult or adult? Have you ever considered writing Middle Grade (speaking as a completely objective third party. Ahem.)
Ahem - on middle grade – I did try it once.  It was in my pantsing stage, and it was really great.  The problem is, I hit a point and didn’t know where to go with it. It is one of the few unfinished manuscripts I have. 
In September, my very first young adult story “The First Day of the New Tomorrow” is coming out from Muse it Up Publishing.  I’m really excited about it because it shows a little more of the “real me.” (And yes, that means things will explode)
I’m currently querying a YA urban fantasy, also heavy on the explosions, called “Fire in the Woods”.  This one I am really looking forward to getting out there, as it’s my favorite kind of story – The chase novel Yahoo!
In my writing cue I have a New Adult Dystopian story based in Terra, the city featured in my story Last Winter Red from the Make Believe anthology.  I’m excited about this one, because I received such great reviews on Last Winter Red, and a few request for more stories in this world. I hope to finish the first draft by mid-September, and move in to the editing phase.
After that, I have a neat dragon story plotted out, but who knows, I may have another idea calling to me by then. 
8) Anything else you want to add? (Other than how awesome aliens and cheese are?)

Aliens and cheese are particularly awesome.  Especially cheddar cheese.  Extra sharp… the perfect snack after thwarting an alien takeover with lots of explosions. 



***
Jennifer M. Eaton is a contemporary blender of Science Fiction, Dystopian, and Romance.  Her work ranges from the sweet contemporary romances of Paper Wishes, to the dystopian society of Last Winter Red and Optimal Red, with a dusting of young adult paranormal just for fun in The First Day of the New Tomorrow.
While not off visiting other worlds, Jennifer calls the East Coast of the USA home, where she lives with her wonderfully supportive husband, three energetic boys, and a pepped up poodle. 
Full time team leader, full time mom, and full time novelist... what more can you ask for?  Writing help did you say?  Well, sure!  Jennifer hosts an informational blog aimed at helping all writers be the best they can be. Stop on by and chat. She loves to hear from fans! http://www.jennifermeaton.com/
***
Her Contemporary Sweet Romance, Paper Wishes is currently available in ebook format.  The Dystopian novelette “Last Winter Red” is available as part of the “Make Believe” Anthology.   Each title is available from Amazon.com and Barnesandnoble.com and Smashwords.
Paper Wishes:  Jill has no idea what she wants for Christmas, but when it looks like her best friend Jack is going to get exactly what he asks for, Jill makes a Christmas wish that will change both of their lives forever. 
Last Winter Red:  In search of a husband, Emily leaves the safety of the city and risks her life stepping into the outside world.  What she finds there will question the foundations of everything she believes in.
The First Day of the New Tomorrow: Maya dreams of having everything she wants, but when she gets it, she can’t give it back fast enough. (Coming in September, 2013 from Muse It Up)

 



Make Believe Purchase Links

/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top


Paper Wishes Purchase links

Monday, 17 June 2013

Planning A Novel

Hi friends/ people of the internet/ space aliens,

So in the time I've spent not blogging, I've also been not writing. And in that not writing time I saw the giant problems with 12 o'clock. So it has been shelved for a while. I'm putting it down to experience.

I've come up with a new concept, using the same characters and the same world. But I'm basically writing a new novel and I thought it'd be nice to find out how other people plan their novels, and to share my method.

So I've typed "how to plan a novel" into google and I've read up on different methods. Some people don't plan, and just go with the flow (I tried doing that.) Others plan in detail (I've also tried doing that.) There's no right way to plan. (Although I've tried finding one.) Whatever works for you, works for you.

For me, I find that I can be most productive when actually writing the novel if I know roughly what should happen in each chapter. I don't plan in great detail, because that takes away the fun (I like ordered chaos. And cheese. Just throwing that out there.) My personal best has been 1800 words in an hour. Now, I know it's all about quality and whatever, but for a first draft I really just want to get something on the paper. I'm in more of a mindset that I can revise later (i.e procrastinating even as I'm doing something productive. It's a gift.)

Generally, I brainstorm ideas for what should happen in each chapter. Just random ideas. For example:
- Meet new character
- Fly into space
- Ride a motorcycle

I come up with a whole load these and try to put them into a logical sequence of events. If they don't fit, I throw them out. If they're not necessary, I throw them out (I throw a lot of things out. For example, I keep coming back to the idea of a person sitting in an office, typing away, which has nothing to do with anything, especially since I'm trying to write a MG fantasy.) So I'm left with a basic outline of my novel. Then I add in a few more details for each situation, which is now a new chapter. For example:

Fly into space :
- Board train
- Explore train e.t.c

 I then have a rough idea of the sequence of events in my novel, and what should generally happen in each chapter. I try to have good moments and bad moments for the character, with the tension levels rising throughout, and rising most at the end (which is something I read on Nathan Bransford's site, and which really works.)

What about you guys? How do you plan a novel? Does the whole edge-of-your-seat way of writing work for you? Or are you a plan-ney freak? (I tried being a plan freak, because I thought it would be cool. Sadly, I got bored of planning halfway, because I just wanted to write, and ended up in the most enormous plot hole. I had to claw my way out, kicking and screaming, but it was fun :)








Monday, 15 April 2013

Publishing Isn't A Race

(WOW! It's been nearly a MONTH since I posted. Double wow. HI EVERYONE. I'M HERE!)

First up, I've noticed a lot of spam-ey comments. And I'm all for freedom of speech, but I'm tired of spam-ey things. So I've turned on the word verification for a little while because I think spammers think I'm an easy target. Sorry if it's a little annoying!

So a while ago I think I mentioned a competition for 13-17 year olds. The prize was a £2000 advance and a chance to be published in e-book format by Random House.

I didn't enter. (Let's analyze me! I have a fear of faliure! I'm a perfectionist!)

 Recently I read this post on Teens Can Write, Too! It's all about being published as a teen writer. And it said something which got to me:

"Age does not matter."

Publishing isn't a race.

It would be silly to try and make it one because.... well... everything happens so slowly in publishing anyway.

So how does this relate to me not entering that competition? Well, someone I know also entered, and when I questioned the terms and conditions of the competition, she said "I don't care. I just want to be published."

And I realized my goal is not "to just get published."



It would be GREAT, sure. I would LOVE to be published right now. But I was staring at my manuscript and I thought to myself "WHAT IF I WON?" (I hope this doesn't sound big-headed. But I figure that if you enter a competition, you have to believe you're in for a chance of winning.) And as I was contemplating winning, I had this sinking feeling. The winners are announced in July. The writer has two weeks to make edits. The book is published in e-book format in July.

My book, the way it is now, is not at its best. I'm proud of the beginning. I'm okay about the middle. The end is a little suckey.

So my goal is to one day be published, and for me to be PROUD of what I'd published.

If I'd have sent my novel in, and if I'd have been so lucky as to have won... I wouldn't be proud of it the way it is now. It can still get better.

 There will be other competitions. There's always something more. I've spent so long on this book, and to rush to get it published doesn't feel right.

And if I actually passed up the only opportunity this book will ever have to be published?

IT'S FINE.

I would cry. A lot. And eat a lot of chocolate and cheese (not together because ew.) But I'd rather be unpublished than be published with something I know could have been better.

What do you guys think? Did I make the right choice? (I once saw a comment from someone saying that at 17 they passed up the chance to sign with an agent because they weren't ready. I always thought AGENT! WHY WOULD ANYONE DO THAT? But I think I sort of get it.)


Wednesday, 20 March 2013

I Wanna Know: I Think I've Written A Fantasy Science Fiction And I Don't Know What To Do

My book has aliens and galaxies and is a giant adventure across the universe. So I call it a science fiction.

But the other day my wonderful CP, Heather, pointed out something which should have been really obvious to me.

There are LOADS of elements of fantasy in my book. Like the TARDIS in Doctor Who being bigger on the inside than the outside type stuff. For me, it's clothes randomly changing, planets which stick you in different places dependent on their mood, special air which turns you into a giant.

FANTASY stuff.

Do I pitch a fantasy science fiction? Because I really want these elements in my book. They're the sort of stuff I loved to read about when I was younger... wacky, new worlds, and bold adventures, with humour and stuff. What I still love to read about now. (MG is AWESOME in case you don't read it.)

I wrote what I wanted to read.

Do I NEED to remove the fantasy elements, and explain them in a science fiction way? (You know, bending scientific principals e.t.c?) Is it alright for my book to be a fantasy science fiction? I know that fantasy and science fiction cross over a lot, but mine's a MAJOR crossover.

Help, oh wise people?

Saturday, 16 March 2013

Deciding You're Done

I made a decision the other day. I decided that this round of beta reads on twelve o'clock would be the LAST.

That's it. After that, I'm going to be done.

I've been working on this one novel for YEARS (writing other novels in the meantime.) But this is the one novel I've always come back to.

I feel slightly empty as I prepare myself for these last few weeks of revisions. But, of course, there are other books to be written and new worlds to explore.

For me, it feels like it's time. I literally cannot bear the thought of endlessly tweaking THIS word and THAT word. I am proud of what I've written.

What about you? How do you know when you're done with a project? Have you ever let yourself become seriously attached to a project so that when you reached the end you were sort of like:

:O 
 (Look how lovely this emotion is! Made out of grammar. BEAUTIFUL.)
I hate you, lovely book, but I also love you, horrible book. 
I don't want this to be goodbye but at the same time

I need to write other books and you need to stop
BUGGING ME.

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Insecure Writer's Support Group: Don't Forget Who Your Audience Is


HI! So I've learned a lot recently. One is that people can be REALLY FUNNY in the most boring-est of times (like a double lesson of something.) (Yes, Astha, I am giving you a good shout out. You are an amazing person and you read, so that makes you twice as awesome.) Another is that you can break someone's leg when you're ten and not remember that at all (my friend did that to someone at school. It's one of my favourite stories about her.)

But the other day I got notes back from a critique partner who is the harshest, most helpful writer-reader I've ever me. I seriously will send her a hug for not laughing me out of the writing world after she read my awful first chapter as it was before the ten million rewrites it has undergone.

As usual, her advice was fantastic. But it was the comment she put at the end which really stuck with me. "If you want, I can pass it to my MG son to have a read." (That's not an actual quote. I just like using "quote marks.")

Now, my book is a MG, and he would be my target audience. And all of a sudden I was AFRAID. It's different sending your work to another writer, than it is to sending it to someone who is purely a reader. Because they will be treating your work as a BOOK book, like something you could buy in a shop.

Suddenly I was worried that I didn't have enough action, or that he would get bored if he read it. I remembered that my target audience is not an adult, or a writer, or a teen. It is an eight-to-twelve-year-old.

So I have an insecurity that I'll have done hundreds (maybe not hundreds) of rewrites and edits and IT JUST WON'T CLICK WITH MY TARGET AUDIENCE.

But now I'm trying to FACE my insecurities, and be like Nike (You know... "Just Do It."). I'm going to find some MG readers and I'm going to ask them to read my book. Because it's always important to remember who you're aiming your book at.

This feels like a really weird insecurity, because a lot of you might have already sent your work out to your target audience and be wondering what I'm talking about. So if you write YA, do teen readers terrify you? Have you ever written, for example, a romance aimed at women but not gotten another woman to read it? (You, sadly, don't count as your own target audience.) Do you keep your target audience in mind when you're writing, or do you come up with the story first and THEN worry about who you're aiming for? (Which is what I did with this current WIP.)