Today I have the pleasure of hosting a book blitz for the Shattered Worlds box set! I’m a lover of dystopian worlds, but very rarely are they done well. So when I read author Zoe Cannon’s work, I was astounded by how brilliant it was! Especially for a self-published author.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m very supportive of self-published authors, and have read some amazing SP works. But it’s always a wonderful surprise to read something that blows your expectations right out the door.
You can find my four star review of Zoe Cannon’s The Torturer’s Daughter here. It is one of the books included in the Shattered Worlds box set.
Synopsis: “Read these bestselling tales of survival against the odds, dark worlds, dystopian regimes and heroic rebels.
Shattered Worlds features six full-length novels from bestselling authors. Immerse yourself in post-apocalyptic civilizations and bleak near-futures where hope still lives.
Featured authors and books are:
Elle Casey: Apocalypsis
Shalini Boland: Outside
Zoe Cannon: The Torturer’s Daughter
Scott Cramer: Night of the Purple Moon
Sarah Dalton: The Blemished
Katie French: The Breeders”
10 things you wish every aspiring writer would know
Shalini Boland, author of the Outside Series.
- You can’t wait for inspiration to strike. If you want to be an author, you need to have the discipline to sit down and write, even if you ‘don’t feel like it’.
- Sales don’t come instantly (unless you’re very lucky … or you sold your soul to the devil). You have to work for them.
- Once you’ve finished writing your first book, that’s when the hard work starts. I’m not really selling it to you am I? Let me try and be a bit more positive in point number 4.
- There’s nothing quite like the feeling when you’re writing a scene and the characters’ emotions spill over into your own. You can end up laughing or crying with your own creations – that’s a pretty amazing feeling!
- There is no ‘one way’ to write a book. Everyone has different methods. You can plot methodically, or go with the flow. My way of writing lies somewhere in between the two.
- When writing a book, there’s always comes a point (usually around a third of the way in) when it becomes the hardest slog on earth, and you’ll wonder why you started writing it, and the whole thing feels like this giant waste of time. At this point, it’s advisable to have a good cry/punch a wall/ eat a whole jumbo size bar of chocolate/get drunk. Now you’ve got that out of your system, you must push on through the pain barrier and kiss and make up with your masterpiece-of-a-manuscript. After a chapter or two of hard slog, you’ll be back in love with it again.
- Beta readers are invaluable. I have input from betas during and after the writing process. People who can look at your manuscript with fresh eyes, spot gaping plot holes, tell you your pacing is off, point out that your characters aren’t believable enough etc etc. And no, your mum is not a good choice for a beta reader.
- Good coffee.
- Get a thick skin. Once you finish your book, you’ll have all manner of people telling you, you suck. From editors with red pens. To gatekeepers with heart-piercing stock phrases: ‘Thank you for your submission. While we do consider it to have merit, unfortunately we ….’ But possibly the worst and most disheartening moment is your first 1 star review. Or even worse – the pompous 3 star reviewer who tells you that he/she is a writer and would’ve written it like xyz, not like your crazy-ass xyf. Learn and move on. It’s not personal.
- Don’t always be analysing the sales and marketing and craft aspects of writing a book. Allow yourself to wallow in your scenes and step into your characters’ skins. Have fun with the plots and delight in wicked twists. Yes, writing a book is really hard work, but it’s also a wonderful experience. And there’s nothing quite like that incredible feeling of achievement when you type: ‘The End’.
Best and worst things about being a writer
Sarah Dalton, author of The Blemished
Being a writer is constantly romanticised on TV. I mean – Castle – come on. Poker games with James Patterson? Flitting around as a detective and yet still having the time to pen bestsellers? Nah! Even Stephen King sits down and reads and/or writers for at least five hours a day. It can be a hard slog. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t any perks…
- You’re the boss! You work when you want. You sleep when you want. You work where you want. Did I mention you’re the boss? No one to tell you what to do. Woohooo… freedom!
- Storytelling is cool and creative. I hit keys. They form words. Words make sentences. Sometimes they sound pretty. Sometimes they make people cry or laugh. It’s a nice feeling.
- People tell you they love your books! There have been a couple of times that people have told me that the books inspired them in some way. That’s the jackpot right there. It makes everything worthwhile. It makes you feel like you have a career that matters.
- Writers are cool people to know. I love working with other writers. It’s amazing when the community comes together to collaborate. I’m all for supporting each other. I’m not for competing against each other.
- You get to stay inside when the weather is rubbish. I live in England, so this is like 90% of the time… yeah, I need to get out more!
- You’re the boss! There ain’t no one else you can blame when things go wrong. You have a lot of responsibility resting on your shoulders. You have to make the right decisions for your business. If you lose money, if you can’t pay rent, you have to fix it.
- Storytelling is hard. You have to keep the reader interested for about three hundred pages. You have characters to craft. Sometimes there are sentences that won’t behave themselves and sound convoluted however you write them. There are edits and proofreads and rewrites. It’s not all about writing the first draft. But these things get easier with practice, and there are people to hire, or people to ask for help when you need it.
- People tell you they hate your books! It happens to the best of us. I’ve seen one star reviews on Goodreads for writers like Ernest Hemingway and F Scott Fitzgerald. You can’t please everyone. The hate will come. Take it in, then let it go.
- Other writers aren’t always supportive. Writing forums can be full of flame wars and endless, circular discussions. It’s easy to get pulled in. Take a step back. Find peers you respect. Don’t get drawn into the negativity that goes on in the murky depths of message boards.
- Writing is very sedentary. It involves a lot of sitting down. Most writers I know drink a lot of coffee or munch on biccies to get through a long writing session. Take care of yourselves. Get exercise. I’m incredibly unhealthy right now, but I’m trying to make a change.