YAPC would like to welcome Jennings Wright to the blog! She will be sharing some info and an excerpt of her new book IXEOS. She will be returning on June 8 to share an excerpt for the sequel IXEOS: Rebellion so stay tuned! If you think this is a book you would enjoy, please use the links to grab a copy!
The McClellands are enjoying a lazy summer vacation at the beach when they are lured from our world into Ixeos, an alternate Earth. Finding themselves lost in a maze of tunnels under Paris and surrounded by strangers, they discover that they have been brought to Ixeos for one purpose: to take the planet back from humanoid aliens who have claimed it. With the aid of the tunnels and a mysterious man named Landon, the teens travel the world seeking the key that will allow them to free Darian, the long-imprisoned rebel leader. The aliens aren’t the only problem on Ixeos — the McClellands have to deal with brutal gangs, desperate junkies, and a world without power, where all the technology is owned by the aliens, and where most of the population has been killed or enslaved.
The worst part? There’s no way home.
Marty chewed his crusty bread thoughtfully. “They’ve got a pretty amazing set up down here,” he observed. “Fresh food, the air is okay, there’s apparently water for drinking and washing and bathing. Dorms, a library… It’s pretty sweet!”
“Sweet?” Clay asked in amazement. “We’re two hundred feet underground, apparently recruited to fight some kind of alien serial killers, and we can’t get home! How is that sweet?”
Neahle laid a hand on his wrist just above his tattoo. Her thumb rubbed the spot. “We’ll be okay, Clay,” she said quietly. “We just need to get our bearings. You know. Figure out what we’re supposed to do.”
Clay put his hand over hers for a minute, then pulled his arm away. “How do we know that what these people are saying is true? It’s nuts! And this Landon — who’s he supposed to be? How come he can leave here, and we can’t?”
“We’ll find more out tomorrow,” Marty said. “But we were chosen, dude. There’s something we can do here to make a difference in this rebellion thing, and that makes us special. I mean, Landon chose us for a reason, right?”
“Because we were the only ones stupid enough to follow the ducks…” Clay muttered, taking a large swallow of water from his mug.
Buy the Book
About the Author: Born and raised in Florida, Jennings spent her early years reading anything she could get her hands on, when she wasn’t spending time in and on the water. She won a prize in the 6th grade for her science fiction stories.
Jennings attended the University of Tampa, graduating with a B.A. in Political Science, and almost enough credits for B.A.s in both English and History. She attended graduate school at the University of West Florida, studying Psychology. She spent time over the years doing various kinds of business writing, editing, and teaching writing, but mostly having and raising her family, homeschooling her children, owning and running a business with her husband, and starting a non-profit.
Thanks to a crazy idea called NaNoWriMo, Jennings got back into creative writing in 2011 and hasn’t stopped since. She currently lives in North Carolina with her husband, also a writer and two children, and travels extensively with her family, and her non-profit in Uganda and Andros.
YAPC would like to welcome Maureen A. Miller to the blog! She will be interviewing with us and sharing some info about her book Beyond. Go get some copies if this looks like something you would enjoy!
Beyond is on sale for 99 cents in celebration of the release for Book #2 Beyond: Two Suns!
YAPC: Try to describe your book in one sentence.
Maureen: Aimee Patterson walked into the woods on the other side of the pond and returned five years later with a tale she could never share.
YAPC: How would my friends describe me in 20 words or less?
Maureen: A lunatic. A bit eccentric. A terrible singer, but that doesn’t stop her from singing. Loyal.
YAPC: Where would you live if you could live anywhere in the world?
Maureen: At least you clarified the world. That narrows it down some. Considering that the BEYOND Series is set mostly in space, there’s thousands of worlds to choose from. But, if I was to be more practical, I would love to live somewhere where I had to take a horse to get down the driveway to my mailbox.
YAPC: If you wouldn’t be a writer, what you would be?
And considering that I can’t sing…I guess that career is out. Alas, I’d be an IT geek.
YAPC: How long have you been writing?
Maureen: I started out in the sixth grade with my mega blockbuster, SUPER WATERMELON MAN. It took many years until my first Romantic Suspense, WIDOW’S TALE was nominated for a Golden Heart award with the Romance Writers of America. After that, I never looked back.
YAPC: Who is your favorite character in your new release?
Maureen: It is a computer named JOH. He’s extremely literal, and pleasantly naïve. He can’t sing either.
YAPC: Which character do you most relate to – or like the most?
Maureen: Aimee Patterson is the lead character. When she starts out in BEYOND, she is just graduating high school and about to embark on an engineering degree in college. She played clarinet in the marching band, and though she is shy at school, she has a very inquisitive nature. There is one scene in BEYOND that is a true story grabbed from my past. Of course, please don’t tell my parents!
YAPC: What inspired you to write, you took any ideas from other books, movies etc?
Maureen: When I was a little girl, I used to watch the original BATTLESTAR GALACTICA, and I had such a crush on Starbuck. (He was a guy back then). I used to dream that he would come in his spaceship and take me from my backyard on a romantic adventure in the stars. The dream stuck with me…so why couldn’t I make it real? Thus BEYOND was born.
YAPC: Which genres do you prefer to read?
Maureen: With the BEYOND Series being primarily YA/New Adult Science Fiction, you’d find it surprising to hear that my favorite genre is Romantic Suspense. Although, Romantic Suspense can take place anywhere…including outer space.
YAPC: Where can your fans find you?
YAPC: Morning person or night owl?
Maureen: Most definitely a morning person. I could solve world peace between 6-8am!
YAPC: How many more books can we expect in this series?
Maureen: I will probably leave that up to the readers. There isn’t a cliffhanger at the end of BEYOND: TWO SUNS, but if people want to learn more the outline is complete for Book Three.
Thank you all for stopping by today and taking the time to learn a little about me. You were fortunate I didn’t sing for you!
It is the day after Aimee Patterson’s high school graduation. College beckons, as does her dream of becoming an engineer. On an early evening walk, her cocker spaniel charges into the woods on the other side of the pond. Aimee trails after him, and in the stillness of that forest the unthinkable happens. She becomes paralyzed and watches in horror as her hands vanish before her eyes.
Waking to the sound of voices, Aimee realizes that she has been kidnapped. Little does she know how far away from home she is, though. In an attempt to flee her captors, she launches from their confines only to freeze at the view outside the window. The sky is black and filled with stars, and in the distance is a familiar blue globe. The planet Earth.
A group of humans forced to flee their planet after an epidemic destroyed their civilization now travel the galaxies in search of an antidote. Retrieving samples of plant life from every solar system, on this occasion Aimee was accidentally seized instead.
Aimee must learn to avoid the advances of an awkward young scientist who seems intent on dissecting her, as her own fascination turns to the exotic young warrior, Zak. Having fallen in love with Zak, she is now torn with the decision to return to Earth or live beyond the stars.
“Brilliantly done. A lovely debut to the young adult genre.” – Romancing The Book Reviews
Buy The Book
About The Author: In a job that required extensive travel, Maureen spent her airport layovers doodling up plots as an escape from the chaos around her. Somehow it was easier to accept being stuck in a snowstorm in Detroit while writing a suspense scene on the shores of Oahu.
When she is not writing, Maureen is a lifelong fan of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Sometimes she questions which is more difficult, writing or being patient with the Bucs.
Maureen is grateful for all the friends she has made along the way–all the readers and writers filled with such gracious support.
YA Promo Central is happy to welcome Toni Rakestraw to the blog! She’s a writer and an editor and she’s here to share some thoughts on editing.
* * *
The other day, I got into a discussion with someone about why authors might skip the editing process before publishing. Now, I didn’t know this guy, and I’m sure he’s a perfectly great guy. I don’t hold anything against him. We had a lively debate on the topic.
In my own experience, I’ve picked up a few ebooks on free days that I’ve put down just as quickly when I discovered that they were filled with basic errors. I’ll be honest… I edit for a living. That means I spend my life reading unedited writing, so I’m extremely choosy about what I read during my limited time for leisure reading. The occasional editorial flub is no big deal, it happens in every book, even those put out by the Big Six publishers. But I can tell the difference between the occasional editorial flub and an unedited manuscript. Remember Elaine from Seinfeld testing her dates to see if they were sponge-worthy? Well, unedited books are not time-worthy.
Anyway, back to my discussion. My worthy opponent brought up cost. He said editing costs a minimum of $1500. I know writers are notoriously poor. I’m an editor and I’m notoriously poor. I get it. Money can be hard to come by. There’s a reason they say it doesn’t grow on trees, because if it did, we’d all be horticulturalists. As I told him, not all of us editors charge an arm and a leg. Some of us softies even offer payment plans and bend over backwards to work within budgets. Why? Because we all have families to support. You gotta feed your kids, I gotta feed mine (and boy, it seems they eat more every year, doesn’t it?). I can’t speak for every editor out there, but this is why I work with several clients at one time… to keep my prices as low as I can. My rent won’t get any lower, but hey, I can spread my costs out to make it easier on my clients, right? So, authors… you may think we charge a lot at first glance, but we’re also having to use our fees to not only run our business, but to pay all those pesky bills that you have to pay at your house. It seems as soon as one month starts, it’s over and the cycle begins all over again. I’m sure you feel the same way. So, I do what I can to keep it reasonable, including a big discount for payment in full upfront. If you can afford it, you don’t have to worry about making payments, I don’t have to worry about sending reminders, you save money, it’s all good.
He suggested that most people don’t press the quality issue when I suggested that you can’t redo a first impression, and maybe that’s true. But they won’t buy book two, either. Putting out a second poorly done book won’t help you sell more books. While some may ask the seller for a refund, others won’t. When authors are signing petitions to convince Amazon not to refund ebooks after seven days (and part of me doesn’t blame them… you can read any ebook in seven days and return it, quality or not) the issue over quality becomes clouded. Was the book returned because the final quality was not up to par or because the reader knew they could get their money back, no questions asked?
Now, Amazon does have certain standards in place, but many of them don’t kick in unless complaints are made by readers. How many readers know how to make these complaints? How many readers actually write reviews? There’s the rub. Without the extra layer of an editor, how do these errors get expunged from the book?
To take it a step further, how do you know you have a competent editor? If you don’t know other authors who can recommend one for you, how do you know you don’t have one who isn’t an author just like yourself who decided they’d hang out an editorial shingle to earn a few bucks?
These are good questions. First, ask your author friends. They may have worked with an editor they liked. Second, (blatant self-promotion) you could hire me. Third, you can go to an editorial association like the Editorial Freelancers Association and peruse their members. If you go that route, make sure and look for editors who work on fiction. Fiction and non-fiction are two different animals, and not every editor is familiar with both. Not every good editor is a member of associations like this (not all of us can afford it yet), but you can bet that you can avoid the bad ones by going there.
If you’re not sure about an editor, look at their client testimonials. Ask them if they’re willing to edit a few pages for free as a sample of their work. When you send a sample, pick a few of your worst pages so you can make a fair assessment. If you’re testing more than one editor, send them the same pages so you can compare. Cheaper isn’t always the best choice, just like the most expensive isn’t always the best choice.
So, don’t sell yourself short. Put out the best book you can. Don’t skimp on the editing. You want a book as close to error-free as you can make it. You want your story as tight as it can be. You want it to be a pleasure to read, not something someone puts down after a few paragraphs.
Toni Rakestraw is a freelance fiction editor. You can find her at:
She co-wrote Titanic Deception with her husband, John, and is the author of several short stories.
Titanic Deception can be purchased on: Amazon