Monday, November 13, 2017

Guest Post by Ally K.

Guest Post by Ally K., author of Special Minds

I've worked on this novel for two years, I've tried to make the universe as plausible as possible, even though it's fantasy, working not only on the first book, but also planning the plot and universe extension of the whole trilogy. It was a struggle, but I guess so is everything for the first time.

I have bipolar disorder, headaches are normal for me, I always have them, so the whole idea for the story came to me, when I woke up with a horrible headache, worse than I ever had before. It was so painful, that I wanted to somehow split up my mind to feel at least only half of the pain. And that's when I thought of the "mind split" for the novel.

I was very inspired by Richelle Mead's VA series, which gave me the idea of the bond. I reworked the whole bond thing and made my own story out of it. I also was very affected by Orson Scott Card's book "Ender's Game". The thought of children that are smarter and more mature, than most adults was very appealing. There are no children in my novel, but it has a similar idea - age is only a number.

I have a few writing tips that helped me write and actually finish this book:

1. When I just started writing I thought of how I want the story to go and how I want it to end. Then I just wrote down chapter titles. This is a really great way to stick to your original idea and not be distracted, so the story moves it's original flow. So if you're like me and prefer to write, when you have a clear image of how the story will go, write those chapter titles like a rough plan that you of course can change later.

2. If you have writers block, stop forcing yourself to write. In my opinion it's bad for you AND the book, if you force yourself to write. Get a break, watch some movies or read your favourite books. My favourite childhood Disney movies were a great help for me, I always got so inspired after watching something I loved in my childhood.

3. It's always hard to keep the right balance of your descriptions. When I notice that I am describing too much I stop, go back to the start of the chapter and read it. If I get a clear image in my head then I'm good, if I get too many details and I feel bored by it, then I rewrite it.

4. So, recently I found a great site that helps me a lot to work on my sequel. In 3 days I wrote 3 chapters. I'm not going to promote things, but the site is called Inkitt and it has this great Writers Write Program, where the challenge is to write a 50 000 WC book in a month. This challenge really keeps me on my toes and helps me move faster with the sequel.

Book description:
Millicent Kale, an ordinary girl it might seem. An incident shows, that she's not that normal after all, but destined to keep life and death balanced in this world. Yet she's not the only one.

If I could split my mind, make another me, would I just see myself like in a mirror? Or would I see through two sets of eyes? And if one of us died, would it feel like me? Could I keep on living? Or wouldn’t I feel anything at all?
If you would live your whole life in pain, do you think it would affect you? When mental and psychological pain become physical, it's hard not to change, and Millicent Kale changed a lot.

Grief, hurt and pain follow Milly every day, but when the closest person she has dies, Milly uncovers that she's not quite human. And she's not alone.

Fate entangles her life with a man she would rather avoid, yet in the end making her listen to reason. Of course it's really hard not to listen to your inner self, when she can actually punch you.

"Special Minds" is a love story, with fantasy parts that make the story work. You'll find fun sidekicks, strong characters and topics that will make you think more on today's social and psychological problems.

Author Bio:

I was born in Uzbekistan. When I was three years old me and my family moved to Germany (we lived in Bonn, it’s a small town near Cologne) and lived there for eleven years. I went to a Russian school which was one of the two Russian schools in the whole country (the second one is in Berlin).
In the year 2011 we moved to Kazakhstan where I live now. I finished school here. Now I am a student at a Russian university and a technical translator for my father’s IT firm.
Right now I’m working on my second book and a few other projects I’m thinking about doing. In the past few months I’ve also become an avid reader, I do reviews on indie books on my blog, I also started a youtube channel recently.
I’m also a gamer, I play Dota 2, among other games, and I’m a hobby photographer.

My book on Goodreads
My book on Inkitt (free access to read)
My Goodreads author page
My Inkitt author page
Facebook profile
Facebook page
Youtube channel
Allpoetry (I also write poems)

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

TusCon 44 Schedule!

Hey everyone! This weekend, I'm flying out to Arizona for TusCon 44! I'm sooo excited... I've never been to Arizona before!! Currently packing... what to bring, what to bring... Especially since I'm planning to do some hiking while I'm out there... Don't worry, there will be plenty of pics ;-)

Anyway, below is my con schedule!

10:00am - 11:00am
Artistic Vs. Commercial Projects - Is it selling out or indulging in something no one else wants to buy?
Ballroom (Sabino)

4:00pm - 5:00pm
William Herr, Mary Fan, Eric Schumacher, Geoff Notkin, Janni Lee Simner autograph sessions
Autographs (Canyon Theater Foyer)

7:00pm - 8:00pm
Why Do Adults Like Young Adult Fiction?
Ballroom (Sabino)

11:00pm - 12:00am
The Day Everything Changed: how to start a novel where you won't bore the reader.
Panel Room 2 (Pima B)

Sunday, November 5, 2017

SPOTLIGHT: I Was An Evil Teenager / Anthony Avina

Author Anthony Avina is the fusion of intense and visual-inducing horror, optimism and hopeful enthusiasm. As an indie author who has spent the last seven years creating unique and original horror stories that highlight the fact that both good and evil can reside in anyone or anything, the creative horror writer hopes to craft entertaining tales that take the reader into unimaginable worlds.

With three successful series and a string of popular stand-alone novels and novellas, author Anthony Avina is a must watch indie author that is always working on the next great story to share with the world. Anthony Avina’s latest novel, “I Was An Evil Teenager: Remastered,” is the collective work of the Evil Teenager novella series. Featuring the novellas “I Was A Teenage Killer”, “I Was a Teenage Zombie” and “I Was A Teenage Demon”, the story follows the exploits of Lisa Etron, an innocent looking teenage girl that everyone in her small hometown loves.

Yet a sinister presence resides behind the mask that is Lisa Etron, and the terror she brings will affect the lives of those closest to her in dark and terrible ways. This is the story of the evolution of evil and whether or not true evil can ever truly die. It’s also the story of hope and overcoming that evil with the love and support of family and friends, and how that hope can bring out the strength people never know they truly have. Good versus Evil come to life in this series in new and terrifying ways, and only by reading this completely remastered version of the stories can you find out what makes Lisa Etron a truly evil teenager…

     Excerpt from the Novel “I Was An Evil Teenager: Remastered”

Prelude: An Innocent Smile
Kristina Langley drove down the dark and deserted highway, wondering if she was ever going to make it out of this storm. The lightning was coming down every two minutes, and the rain was coming down as if God was pouring buckets of water out of heaven himself (or herself, she mused to herself). She wanted to get home quickly, before Bill decided to have a few more drinks and then rough up her daughter, Kara. “All I have to do is get through this one last night, then I can get Kara out of this hell-hole and we can move up to New York with my mother,” Kristina, known as Kris to her family and friends, said to herself. The rain began to fall harder, and in an attempt to drown out the rain, she turned on the local alternative rock station. Suddenly, a song she instantly recognized came blasting out of the stereo.
Kris began to pop her head up and down in step with the music, when suddenly she saw a figure up ahead in the distance. A hitchhiker? Wondered Kris.
At first, she did not slow down. Not only were her thoughts clouded with her daughters safety, but memories of the horror stories she’d been told about murderous strangers on highways. However, she thought about this horrendous weather and finally decided to pull over. She stopped right next to the person outside, pulling onto the shoulder of the highway. From where Kristina was sitting, she could see it was a woman out there, and that she was wearing a hooded parka. At first, the woman did not attempt to come inside the car. Kristina reached over across the seats and opened the door for the stranger.
“Hey there,” she said to the woman in the parka. “It’s pouring out there. Do you need a ride into town?” The woman nodded her head slowly and finally climbed into the trucks cab. Kris turned forward again and started to drive once the stranger closed the door.
After about five minutes of silence, Kris decided to break the unsettling noiselessness. “So, where are you heading at this time of night?” she asked. The stranger made no reply. “It’s a hell of a storm out there, isn’t it?” asked Kris. The stranger turned her head towards Kris and nodded her head. “Well I’m heading as far as Sunrise Ridge, so if you’re further ahead or before that just let me...” she began to say, when suddenly she saw out of the corner of her eye the knife the stranger had pulled out of her coat.
“Listen, all I have is ten bucks. I didn’t bring any credit cards on my trip, and I don’t have a cell phone, so there’s no point in robbing me. You can have the ten bucks if you want. It's yours. Just, please, don’t hurt me, I’m begging you,” she said. The woman in the parka turned towards her, and suddenly Kris could see the woman had dark, glowing red eyes.
Kris slowed the car and looked at the strange woman with fearful eyes, and saw that the woman smiled. The rest of her face was hidden in shadows, but Kris could clearly see that horrible grin and those piercing eyes.
Abruptly, the woman brought the knife down upon Kristina, driving the blade deep into her neck. Instinctively, Kris slammed her foot down on the pedal and shot the car forward. Blood spout out onto the dashboard of the truck, and Kris lost control of the wheel. All she could feel was a hot, flowing pain on her neck, and all she could see was the cabin of the truck, spinning out of control. Suddenly the truck struck a tree dead on, going on 45 miles per hour the police would later say. Kristina lay with her head on the dashboard, gasping for air, when suddenly the knife pierced her one final time in the back, severing her spinal cord. She died right there in the car, her final thoughts of her daughter Kara, and the horrors she would experience without her mother there to protect her. As the light faded from her eyes, the mystery woman leaned toward Kris and sniffed her, as if she were a predator getting a scent for it’s already dead prey.
The woman wiped the blood on the knife off on Kristina’s shirt, and said, “I hate when they beg.”

One teenage girl brings chaos and destruction to the world in Author Anthony Avina’s Novel, “I Was An Evil Teenager: Remastered”!

The novel focuses on Lisa Etron, the series antagonist who hides her evil behind the human fa├žade of a normal teenage girl. Behind her eyes hides the repulsive evil that looks upon people with an indifference that any serial killer would recognize. It also tells the tale of Dave Trent, the innocent young man who makes the mistake of falling in love with Lisa, and spends the trilogy wrestling with the madness she has inflicted on him. There’s also Jack, a seasoned detective who starts the series on a mission of vengeance, but in the process finds the family he never knew he wanted and will stop at nothing to protect them from the evil that is Lisa Etron.

     Author Anthony Avina has released a brand new novel that challenges the perception of what evil “looks” like in our society, and how appearances can be deceiving. It also explores the emotion and human nature that most people don’t consider when watching a horror movie or reading a horror book, and how themes of hope and love often align within the horror genre. Available for preorder now and releasing October 20th, 2017, this novel is the perfect read for horror fans, readers who love terrifying and iconic killers and heartfelt human connections, and readers who are interested in exploring the struggle people often face in the wake of tragedy and the hope that comes with facing struggles and challenges with the ones we love, not alone.

     The idea came to Anthony Avina one day when he was reading up on the creation of iconic characters like Norman Bates in Psycho or Leatherface in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Based on the grim killings of Ed Gein, these stories fascinated him, but also showed him that there is a typical character type for serial killers, and he wanted to challenge that stereotype and show that looks can be deceiving.
     I Was An Evil Teenager: Remastered is the culmination of some of Author Anthony Avina’s most creative ideas coming to life on the pages of his earliest works. Exploring the depths of human darkness and corruption and the people willing to use hope and goodness to battle that evil, this story is really the foundation for which author Anthony Avina’s later works were built. When the reader gets to the end of the novel, they will be on the edge of their seat, feeling a whirlwind of emotions as this story of evil, love and hope all comes together in the final battle of this action-packed and emotional series.  

     Author Anthony Avina has been an indie author for the past seven years, and is quickly approaching his eighth year. An avid fan of the horror, science fiction and romance genres and hungry to showcase the true nature of society, Mr. Avina has always written tales that not only entertain and scare, but also bring out true and heartfelt emotion. His characters are truly unique and showcase that no one is ever what they seem, whether they be good or bad, and you can never assume anything, because sometimes evil wears a beautiful and trustworthy face. Anthony Avina lives in Southern California at the age of 27, and works as an indie author, journalist, and internet personality. You can learn more about the author on both his YouTube channel and his Official Site! Pick up your copy of I Was An Evil Teenager: Remastered today!

Reviews of Author Anthony Avina!

I managed to devour all the 85 pages in just one sitting and enjoyed every minute of it. Anthony Avina skillfully blends elements of horror, suspense and mystery while keeping the story running at a fast pace as the unfolding situation slowly materializes – it’s taunt, well-written race against the clock thriller that is impossible to put down.
                     Catherine Putsche on “Strange Perceptions”

Anthony Avina's take on this classic urban tale is both enjoyable and interesting to the reader. Once I started reading I was quickly drawn into the story and I ultimately couldn't stop reading until the end.
                          M.P. Thomson on “Strange Perceptions”

I really liked this book. I enjoyed the way it made a childhood terror be reality for adults, as well. I already own several of his books, and have put the rest on my wish list. I'm looking forward to those as well!
                          Brenda Seaberg on “Bedtime”

Lots of exciting scenarios, with several twists/turns & a great set of unique characters to keep track of. This could also make another great horror movie, animated cartoon, or mini TV series. It will keep you on the edge.
                          Tony Parsons on “Bedtime”

               Q&A With Author Anthony Avina

Q: How do you deal with writer’s block?
A: I take a step back, and immerse myself in another activity, and usually while I'm engaged in something a new thought or idea will pop in my head and will allow me to continue on with the story.

Q: What’s the best thing about being a writer?
A: Getting to create whole new worlds with intricate stories and complex characters that allow you to get all of your thoughts and imagery down onto paper, (or computer screens).

Q: What’s your advice for aspiring writers?
A: My advice for aspiring writers would be to find the one thing that motivates you, whether it be a place, a person, or a thing, and let it drive you as you find the right story to dive into. Think about not only who your characters are but what drives them, what motivates them to do what they do in your story. Most important of all though, don't write a story just to write it. Make sure it’s something your passionate about that really drives you creatively and spiritually. Your book will reflect whether or not you were passionate about the story, and the more in tune with the tale you are, the more likely you are to produce a high quality novel, short story, poem, etc.

Q: What are you currently working on?
A: I'm working on a suspense/thriller about a serial killer and the investigation into the murders. It will explore the viewpoints of the killer, the victim, and the investigator.

Q: How do you get inspired to write?
A: Once I have a story in mind, I have a system for which I write. I usually grab either coffee, tea or water with a healthy snack like a granola bar, maybe a bag of mixed nuts or if you want to treat yourself a candy bar, preferably chocolate. After I grab that, I set my computer up, and I grab my iPhone and pull up my Spotify app, where I've made a specific playlist of music. With the music playing and my snacks within reach, I close my mind off to everything else around me, and I begin writing, taking the occasional break here and there until I've written what I wanted to write in a day. The key is not to overdo it, and write only while you are inspired to. Never force yourself to write if you aren't feeling it.

               Contact Information:

               Social Media Links:
I Was An Evil Teenager: Remastered Preorder:
Snapchat: BigAntone34
Amazon Author Page:
Podcast link:
Magazine Blogs: