Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Blog Tour + Guest Post + Giveaway - The Solus Series by Devri Walls


Find the tour schedule here.




BOOK 1 -Wings of Arian by Devri Walls
Series: Solus #1
Published: April 24th 2012 

Currently free!

Synopsis:

Kiora thought she had never heard a lie until she was sixteen. But she was wrong. Her entire existence was based on nothing but. She thought that evil did not exist. Lie. That magic was not real. Lie. And that the land of Meros was all there was. One more lie.

With Aleric telling her that evil is knocking on the door and that she is the only one who can stop them she has a choice to make. Refuse, or start the wildest most painful ride of her life.
She reluctantly dips her toe into her new existence of magic and threads, dragons and shapeshifters, and the person who wants to take control of it all: the evil Dralazar.

However, this journey was never meant to be hers alone. She will be accompanied by a Protector. To her disbelief, and utter irritation they name the hotheaded, stubborn, non -magical, (albeit gorgeous) Prince Emane. They will have to trust each other with their lives, but right now Kiora would settle for a non hostile conversation.

And now it comes down to this, If you had never heard a lie, would you know when you heard one? Is knowing good from evil innate? Kiora finds herself having to decide who lives and who dies on those very questions.





BOOK 2 -Wings of Tavea by Devri Walls
Series: Solus #2
Published: November, 2012

Synopsis:
 
Kiora is rapidly learning that evil and lies come in shades of black and white and swirling greys, but nothing could have prepared her for the shock of leaving Meros.

Kiora and her protector Emane step through the pass into a world they never knew existed but were always meant to save, only to find it far worse than they could have ever imagined. Good has been forced into hiding for its own survival, while the rest of the land bows to the Shadow, a force that pushes any remaining thoughts of Dralazar from Kiora’s mind. This land is full of new creatures, each more dangerous than the last. Her visions have taken on a deadly twist, and magic, or what comes of it, was never so real. And then there is Alcander: a Tavean, their guide, and an entirely different kind of trouble





BOOK 3 -Wings of Nestor by Devri Walls
Series: Solus #3
Publication date: June 24th 2013

Synopsis:

Kiora needs answers. Who is the Shadow? Who is Jasmine? Are they connected? And even more pressing: how can she stop Shadow from using Kiora’s dreams as a map to find them? They have escaped three times, but are living on borrowed time—and everybody knows it.

Her search for help will push her closer to Alcander, send her to the dragon mountain of Toopai, and straight back to Meros—where magic will finally return to the land of no magic. Answers will be uncovered and plans unearthed that have been waiting for thousands of years.

But with the Shadow’s forces gathering, it looks like the land’s path is hurtling towards one outcome: war with the Shadow and death to all rebels. Armed with knowledge and hope, Kiora is determined to change that path. But will fate allow it? Or will it deal her a hard lesson about following ones own destiny?




BOOK 4 -Wings of Lomay by Devri Walls
Series: Solus #4
Publication date: February 4th 2014

Synopsis:

Kiora needs answers. Who is the Shadow? Who is Jasmine? Are they connected? And even more pressing: how can she stop Shadow from using Kiora’s dreams as a map to find them? They have escaped three times, but are living on borrowed time—and everybody knows it.

Her search for help will push her closer to Alcander, send her to the dragon mountain of Toopai, and straight back to Meros—where magic will finally return to the land of no magic. Answers will be uncovered and plans unearthed that have been waiting for thousands of years.

But with the Shadow’s forces gathering, it looks like the land’s path is hurtling towards one outcome: war with the Shadow and death to all rebels. Armed with knowledge and hope, Kiora is determined to change that path. But will fate allow it? Or will it deal her a hard lesson about following ones own destiny?




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AUTHOR BIO


Devri Walls lives in Kuna Idaho with her husband and two kids. 
She has worked as a music teacher and currently, a preschool teacher. 
She majored in theater and her love of a story still drives her today. 
Thankfully, she has finally found an outlet for all the voices in her head.






I had a few awesome choices about what to write on today, one of which was Inside the mind of the Author. I paused at that one for a moment and then laughed, I don’t think even I can explain what goes on in my head! Writers are scary, scary people, folks. Sometimes I am not sure how I manage to function, Lol! On that note… I decided this might not be the best choice.
Jess actually had a few questions for me that I had never been asked before, which was awesome! Sooooooo, so, so, so…let’s talk about making characters believable. I was having this conversation with another author just the other day. Unbelievable characters, and along with that, unbelievable character dialogue, are book killers! There are few things as frustrating as being jerked out of the illusion of the story by a bad character reaction. It is also frustrating when the characters feel stagnant—like that movie you played on Netflix where the acting was so bad you just sat there with your mouth hanging open.
There are many books written on this topic that include most everything you need to know. Make sure your characters are rounded out with fears and weaknesses. Make sure you know them and what drives them. This is very valuable, but not what I want to talk about. Let’s look at this example,

“What is this place?” Sarah said, looking at the mountains around them.
“The mountains of Ember,” Jake said.
“How did we get here?” Sarah asked.
“That gate we passed through was magic.”
“You didn’t tell me you were magic,” Sarah said.
Jake shrugged. “I’m not, but the gate is.”

MAKE IT STOP!!! Seriously, guys, if your manuscript looks like this make it stop. This reads like two actors standing on stage on the first day of acting class. Both are standing stiff as a board with their manuscripts clutched in their hands, their emptions dry as the Sahara. ( Have you figured out that my background was in theater? Of course you can. Yep, I was the theater nerd) What is wrong with the above example? The reactions, or lack of, were absurd, but I see it all the time. There is also no movement, no natural beats and pauses in the scene, no movement. The characters are flat and one dimensional. Even if we added some
backstory or motivation when it is written like this it would still stink. One of the best pieces of advice I can give to someone whose manuscripts look like this is not only to read more, but start watching movies. You need to pick apart the character movements and dialogue, figure out what makes it believable.

Sarah looked around unable to believe her eyes. “What is this place?”
“The mountains of Ember,” Jake said.
The land stretched out before them, greens and blues with peaks that jutted up from the land and reached towards the sun. “How did we get here?” Sarah looked behind her for the stone gate they had walked through only moments before. “Where is the gate?”
Jake sheepishly shoved his hands in his pockets. “It’s gone, we have to find a new gate.”
Sarah’s senses tingled and warning bells sounded through her skull. “Jake, what do you mean, ‘it’s gone’?”
“That gate…” he took a deep breath. “It was magic.”
Sarah’s mouth went dry and it felt like the world dropped out from beneath her.
“Sarah, listen,” Jake stammered. “I’m sorry I didn’t tell you, but I knew you wouldn’t come. You wouldn’t have even listened!”
“My grandpa went looking for magic and never came back, Jake. Never!”
“I know, and you all thought he was crazy!”
“He was!”
“No, he wasn’t.” Jake’s tone had grown hard. “He walked through that gate and couldn’t find the other. Sarah, he’s stuck in here.”
“And now so are we!” Sarah screeched.
Jake shook his head. “No, I know where the other gate is.”


Ok, ok, so it’s not the next great piece of American literature- cut me some slack I came up with it in five minutes and had to give them some backstory. The point is that there are several things that are different from the first example. One, it is fluffed up with some backstory, but that’s not all. There were also some reactions, pauses, beats, moments where the next line of dialogue didn’t just come shooting out. Often times just taking the line of dialogue and inserting your movement in the middle will give you exactly what you need.

In the above scene with Sarah, she suddenly appears in a completely different place than where she had been, impossible. In this situation, how many of us wait to open our mouth until we had looked all around and carefully considered everything? Not many, I can promise you that. The first question would immediately be, How did we get here! After that your brain starts going, it starts running through the last sequence of events. Your brain realizes, we walked through a gate, hold one, where is the gate? We then look for the gate and when we don’t see it we ask, where is the gate. Try to think of these things as you write your scenes, your characters will be so much stronger.
Our readers live in an incredibly visual world, movies, video games, instagram, social media. We need our books to read in a similar way. Our readers now want to be able to visualize your book as if they were watching the most amazing movie ever! THAT is my tip for you today on how I like to make my characters real. What do you guys think? Leave us some comments or questions and I will try to respond.







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