Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Writers' Tips and The Kid Lit Blog Hop #57

Ready for more writing tips from successful authors? This week I showcase the authors I interviewed in March and April of 2014 and share their advice for writers.

If you plan to publish, allow yourself to have big dreams. Writing is an incredibly difficult field in which to get noticed and most authors experience dozens of knock backs before getting anywhere. The skill is not in avoiding rejection, but bouncing back from it. Have a goal in mind and keep working at it. Big dreams will help you keep going.Rosen Trevithick, author of the Smelly Trolls series

Whilst writing I’ve learnt that I have to be self-critical and be prepared to edit and edit and edit.
I read it out loud, just as if I was reading it to an audience – or a class. And I ask other people to read and criticise it.
BUT I take heart from praise because we all need that!
Rosie Morgan, author of The Camelot Inheritance series

Don’t give up, even if publishers or agents reject you.  Write what you want to write and not what you think would sell. Don’t self-proof read. Get someone you trust to it for you. It is too easy to miss mistakes when reviewing your own work.  Consider self-publishing. These days there is a lot of support and free marketing out here to resource. Use online media platforms to promote yourself.
Converse with other authors, share books and reviews and get yourself noticed. Do book readings and signings if you can. It’s a great way to actually meet readers who might enjoy your work.—

My School Is A Nightmare Series

Welcome to the 57th Kid Lit Blog Hop where we continue to develop a dynamic and engaged community of children's books bloggers, authors, publishers, and publicists.

On this Hop, Carpinello's Writing Pages interviews
MG Fantasy author H. L. Burke
MG Mystery author Shannon L. Brown

So, you are always more than welcome to join us by popping in a post and hopping around to meet some of your fellow Kid Lit bloggers and authors! This week, we are excited to be including a Facebook Linky Party to be held in conjunction with the Kid Lit Blog Hop. These linky parties are designed to give you the opportunity to connect with and grow your network of fellow kid lit bloggers, authors, and parents through your various social media platforms.  


Mother Daughter Book Reviews

Julie Grasso, Author/ Blogger

Cheryl Carpinello, Author / Blogger

Stacking Books


Pragmatic Mom

Music, Teaching and Parenting

Reading Authors

The Logonauts

A Book Long Enough

Spark and Pook


Happy Hopping everyone and enjoy the Hop!

Kid Lit Blog Hop

Kid Lit Blog Hop & Linky Party Rules *Please Read*

1. LINKY PARTY: Add the link to your Facebook fan page in the Facebook Linky Party list below. Be sure to visit at least the two links directly before yours as well as your hosts' Facebook fan pages. Be sure to like pages that interest you and show your colleagues some love by liking or sharing one of their posts. 2. KID LIT BLOG HOP: Link up any Kid Lit related post in the Kid Lit Blog Hop. This can be a link to a children’s book review, a discussion about children’s literature/literacy, or a post on a recently-read children’s book or one that you love from your childhood.
* Don't link directly to your blog, it must be a specific post.*
* For Authors, we prefer you to link to your blog if you have one. Please link unique posts each time ~ no repeats please. *
* Make sure you include an image relevant to the POST (e.g., book cover), not your blog button or photo of yourself.*
* Feel free to link more than one post.*
3. KID LIT BLOG HOP: Please visit AT LEAST the TWO LINKS from the Kid Lit Blog Hop directly ahead of your own and leave them some love in the form of a comment. We are trying to build a community of bloggers, readers, parents, authors, and others who are as passionate about children’s literature as we are so please CONNECT and follow any or all of the blogs that interest you! 4. If you like, grab the button above and put it somewhere on your blog, preferably the post you're linking up. If you'd prefer, you can just add a text link back to this Hop so that others can find it and check out all these great book links! 5. It would really help us get the word out about the Kid Lit Blog Hop if you would be so kind as to tweet, share, and spread the word about the Hop!
Interested in co-hosting the Kid Lit Blog Hop/Linky Party? If you've joined us before, you are welcome to join us again! Please email renee @ motherdaughterbookreviews (dot) com and put Co-Hosting Blog Hop in the subject line.
Happy Hopping!


(Please do not link a blog post here - see below for the Kid Lit Blog Hop)


Meet MG/YA Author H. L. Burke

Carpinello's Writing Pages welcomes Middle Grade/YA Fantasy author H. L. Burke.

First, a bit about H. L.:

I'm a military wife and mother of two who has always loved to live in fantasy worlds. I grew up in rural Oregon, accompanied by trees and books, and I am a firm believer in happily ever after.

Why did you pick to write books for MG/YA?

I write where the story takes me. Some of my stories are intended for adults or at the very least older teens because I touch on more sensitive or mature topics, but occasionally I find a story that wants me to write it that is just good fun, as in this new book, Thaddeus Whiskers and the Dragon. It was like something was whispering to me, “Write a book where a kitten makes friends with a dragon!” and with the lightness of that material, middle grade seemed the appropriate audience.

What types of books do you like to read?

I like things that are whimsical and fun, mostly fantasy, but as a mom I read a lot of books aimed at younger audience. My favorite author of all time is J. R. R. Tolkien.

When you are not writing, what do you like to do?

I play computer games a bit. My favorites being adventure games like the Myst series. I like to be able to explore interesting worlds and flip switches and see what happens.

Tell us about Thaddeus Whiskers and the Dragon and how the story came to be.

Thaddeus Whiskers and the Dragon
is a story about a pampered palace kitten who finds the ground ripped out from under him after a fateful birthday party. Thaddeus is a small hero, but he's determined to find his way back to his beloved princess. During his journey he fights rats, outsmarts bears, and befriends a dragon. 
I have a series written for older readers about dragons and also really love cats, so I have a reputation as the “cat and dragon” lady. Some time last year, a friend emailed me a picture of a cat rubbing up against a dragon statue where it looked like the stone dragon was petting it. I loved the idea of a cat and a dragon playing together, so I wrote a short story about it and read it to my daughter. She told me it was too short because she's too old for short stories. It needed to be a chapter book. So I thought, “Why not?” and wrote a chapter book with the same premise and characters.

Here's a peek at Thaddeus Whiskers and the Dragon:

Thaddeus F. Whiskers is a pampered palace pet, a kitten enchanted to never become a cat. Princess Clarice loves him, for in the entire kingdom, for there is no other kitten as cute or as clever. He leads a life of cushions and cream until a wizard's "gift" results in his banishment. Determined to make it back to the princess he loves, he escapes into the wilderness where he discovers the lair of a

Grandious, the dragon, doesn't care about anything besides himself. He wants to be left alone with his treasure. However, there is something about Thaddeus that has him entranced. He finds himself opening his home and his heart to the little cat. 

Thaddeus is a small creature in a big world. Between him and his beloved Princess stand conniving wizards, would-be-step-mothers, and rampaging rats. However, when danger threatens both Clarice and Grandious, Thaddeus won't allow his size to get in the way of saving his friends.

Have you written other books? If so, tell us a bit about them.

I have a series of fantasy romance novels written for older teens and adults (clean, but people kissing and getting married and whatnot). The first book in that series is Dragon's Curse (like I said, I'm the dragon lady), and a young adult novel based in a fantasy world where magic is music you can hear all around you. That one is called Beggar Magic.  I love to take tropes or the expected and twist it into something new. I also like to have characters who readers can look up to and feel better for having spent time with.

What’s next for your writing? Are you working on a new story?

My next book is another “for grown-ups” piece because it deals with the aftermath of a war, and the loss and anger my characters feel can be pretty visceral at times. I would classify it as epic fantasy, a small band of survivors trying to hang on to what remains of their world after decades of violence. I may also be revisiting either Beggar Magic or Thaddeus Whiskers and the Dragon for a sequel sometime in the near future, but I don't have that plotted out yet.

What advice do you have for other authors?

Write what you want to read because if you want to read it, chances are someone else will too. Markets change. Fads change, but a good story is timeless.

Anything else you want readers to know?

Cats used to be worshiped in ancient Egypt, and they are somehow very aware of this in spite of the fact that they can't read and don't take history classes. That's very important to keep in mind. At all times, we are in danger of an uprising where the cats will take over and demand our servitude once again. Treat them kindly, and when they come to power, they will have mercy upon you.

Where can readers find you and your books?

My Website.
You can purchase my books on Amazon

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Spring Ultimate Reading Quest!


Happy Spring from all the Authors in 

The Ultimate Reading Quest!

This year myself, and all the Quest authors, want you to enjoy your reading experiences more than ever! So in 2015, the Ultimate Reading Quest has more, more, more! More authors and more books, means more mystery, more danger, more intrigue and more edge-of-your-seat adventure awaits you! 

We want you, our readers, to be able to fill that Kindle, tablet or E-reader you got for Christmas, with fabulous reads to take you through 2015. The Quest is so much fun! Who doesn't love searching for treasure?

The ULTIMATE READING QUEST is about finding books that are “perfectly” suited to your reading taste by clicking on choices. To thank you for participating, the authors are giving away oodles of prizes for free! Enter your name to win Amazon cards and free books from authors! Plus a whole store of treasured books are just waiting to be discovered by you!

I hope you'll take a look at my Tales & Legends from the Medieval & Ancient Worlds. I write for those reluctant readers you probably know, as well as others and the young-at-heart.

Enjoy your journey as you travel through the QUEST! Don't forget to enter the raffle on the first page of the Quest. And please leave comments or questions for the authors of the Quest. We would love to hear from you. What are you waiting for?

Click on the button below to get started on your QUEST for the next ULTIMATE READ! 






Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Meet YA Author Nancy M Bell

Carpinello's Writing Pages welcomes back Canadian author Nancy M Bell. Nancy is the author of The Cornwall Adventures, a popular YA series.

First, a bit about Nancy:

Nancy M Bell is a proud Albertan and lives near Balzac, Alberta with her husband and various critters. She has publishing credits in poetry, fiction, and non-fiction. Nancy has presented at the Surrey International Writers Conference and the Writers Guild of Alberta Conference. She is currently working on Book 3 of her series The Cornwall Adventures.

Why did you pick to write books for YA?

When I wrote Laurel’s Quest and A Step Beyond, the first two books in The Cornwall Adventures series, the characters presented themselves and compelled me to tell their stories. They were teenagers and so I just sort of fell into the YA genre. I personally like reading the genre so that probably had something to do with it too.

What types of books do you like to read?

Honestly, I’m pretty eclectic. I love fantasy, Charles de Lint, Mercedes Lackey, Anne McCaffrey, and Jonathan Stroud, but I also have all of Patrick Taylor’s Irish Country series, as well as Jack Whyte and Diana Gabaldon. A further inspection of my crowded bookshelf reveals a ton of research books on ley lines, earth energy, megaliths, Irish legends, horse books, a Zane Grey collection…the list goes on.

When you are not writing, what do you like to do?

I enjoy spending time with my horses and dogs, taking a drive into the mountains, and visiting my grandkids. I’m trying to teach myself to play the tin whistle, without much success I might add, but it’s fun. I love to read and browse through used books stores and antique stores.

Tell us about A Step Beyond and how the story came to be.

A Step Beyond is the second book in The Cornwall Adventures series and is really about a young teenager coming to grips with his past and gaining confidence in himself and others. Gort's—main character—name comes from the Celtic Tree Ogham and is associated with Ivy which represents the search for self. This is exactly what Gort is doing. A secondary character in Laurel’s Quest, I really felt he needed his own story told. I also had quite a few requests from readers who wanted to know what happened to him after Laurel’s Quest ended, so I wrote his story. It involves time travel which the first book did not, but it works for his journey. Gort goes from being a skinny shy kid to Sir Gawain, one of King Arthur’s trusted knights. He learns he has only to look inside to find the courage he needs to face the demons in his present life. I’ll leave it at that, but I do hope you will seek A Step Beyond out and follow Gort on his journey.

Here's a peek at A Step Beyond:

Legend says that land once stretched from Lands End in Cornwall as far as the Isles of Scillies, thirty miles out in the Atlantic. It is to this mythical land that Gort Treliving escapes when his Uncle Daniel beats him senseless. He steps away from his corporeal body and walks into the mist of oblivion, seeking only to escape the pain. To Gort’s surprise, he finds he is Sir Gawain, one of King Arthur’s knights. He is also the partner of a wonderful grey war stallion who can telepathically speak to him.

While he is caught up in a wild chase across the countryside to rescue King Arthur’s kidnapped queen and her lady, Gort as Gawain, tries to puzzle out the strange visions of another life that assail him at the most inopportune times.

Have you written other books? If so, tell us a bit about them.

Laurel’s Quest
is the first book in The Cornwall Adventures series. That’s the only other book in this genre so far. Some of my other works include No Absolution, a unique retelling of Jack the Ripper's story, and Storm's Refuge, a romance set in the Alberta prairie.

What’s next for your writing? Are you working on a new story?

Yes! I am half way through a prequel to Laurel’s Quest which tells the story of Laurel’s Gramma Bella and how she came to Canada and southern Alberta. The working title is Arabella’s Secret. It delves a bit deeper into the relationship between some of the older secondary characters in Laurel. Something that readers have asked for as well. There is a fourth book as well in the works, actually the third in the Cornwall series. Laurel returns to Cornwall. Its title is Coming Home.

What advice do you have for other authors?

Keep writing, no matter how discouraged you might get, or how busy life becomes. Nobody can tell your stories but you.

Anything else you want readers to know?

I hope you enjoy my stories, and I’d love it if you let me know what you like, or didn’t like.

Thanks for having me on your blog, Cheryl, and congratulations on your own writing successes. I enjoy reading your stories.

Where can readers find you and your books?

You can links to find my books at http://bookswelove.net/authors/bell-nancy/
I’m on Twitter  @emilypikkasso
Facebook  Author Nancy M Bell
My Blog
I also post on the Books We Love Blog on the 18th of every month.