Thursday, 27 March 2014

Blog Tour + Guest Post + Giveaway - Daughter of Chaos by Jen McConnel

Find the tour schedule here.

Title: Daughter of Chaos (Red Magic #1)
Publication Date: March 25, 2014
Publisher: Month9Books
Author: Jen McConnel

There comes a time in every witch’s life when she must choose her path. Darlena’s friends have already chosen, so why is it so hard for her to make up her mind? Now, Darlena is out of time. Under pressure from Hecate, the Queen of all witches, Darlena makes a rash decision to choose Red magic, a path no witch in her right mind would dare take. As a Red witch, she will be responsible for chaos and mayhem, drawing her deep into darkness. Will the power of Red magic prove too much for Darlena, or will she learn to control it before it’s too late?

DAUGHTER OF CHAOS is the first in the RED MAGIC paranormal YA trilogy.


About the Author

 Jen McConnel now lives and writes in the beautiful state of North Carolina. When she isn't crafting worlds of fiction, she teaches writing composition at a community college. Once upon a time, she was a middle school teacher, a librarian, and a bookseller, but those are stories for another time.

Author Links:

Guest Post:
10 Tips for Becoming a Better Writer 

Thanks so much for hosting my tour today! I love top ten lists, so I thought I’d share my ten favorite tips for becoming a better writer. Enjoy! 

1. Write
It should go without saying, but the best way to get better at something is to do it. Ray Bradbury once said that you have to write a million words before you can truly be a good writer, but no matter where you are in the process, learning to put words on a page and developing a strong writing routine will help you get better. 

2. Read
Read fiction. Read memoirs. Read books about writing. Read genres you want to write. Read genres you have no intention of writing. Read myths and fairy tales. The more you read, the more you expand your vocabulary and knowledge base, and the more you learn about what works and what doesn’t. Plus, it’s fun!

3. Be Critical
When you’re done reading for fun, go back and read for information. Study your favorite authors; how do they pace their stories? What works, and what doesn’t? Take your reading to the next level, and become deeply aware of the tropes of your genre. Take notes!

4. Find Your Process
Are you a pantser, or do you work best with an outline? Do you write in order, or do you tell your story in a mish mash of scenes that you straighten out later? Figure out what works for you, and be willing to try a new approach to storytelling. What worked once may not work again, but that’s okay. It’s all a learning process! 

5. Revise
Some folks are willing to send raw drafts to betas and CPs, but I don’t like to share my work until I’ve revised it at least once. Just like writing, revision is a process. Do you work best on the computer, or do you need to revise by hand? Don’t be afraid to experiment, but make sure that your revision process becomes as familiar and consistent as your writing process. You don’t have to hate revisions!

6. Participate
Conferences and workshops are some of my favorite ways to refuel, connect with other writers, and learn. Join your writing community, whether it’s face to face or online, and become an active participant. You’ll be glad you did, especially when you find that group of writers you click with like old friends.

7. Study
No matter how long you’ve been writing, keep approaching the process with an open mind. Be willing to go back to basics from time to time, and seek out opportunities to learn. Read new books, take a class, and push yourself outside of your comfort zone.

8. Teach
Start a critique group, lead a workshop, or visit a school. Teaching other people about the writing process is a great way for you to solidify your own thoughts, and I swear I learn more from teaching than anything else I’ve ever done. The old adage is totally true; the teacher becomes the student.

9. Give
Mentor another writer. Give your time to your friends. Critique and beta read for folks without necessarily expecting something back. Give your favorite books to people (or at least give them book recommendations). When you engage gratitude in your writing process, it makes everything better.

10. Change It Up
Don’t be afraid to stretch outside your comfort zone. Write a zombie romance if that’s something you’ve never done before. Try your hand at a mythic retelling. Write in a different location, or try pantsing if you’re a planner. It’s good to mix things up, and you never know; you might stumble into a story you can’t wait to tell by doing things just a little different.

There you have it! My top ten tips for writers of all stages. What writing advice do you have?

Tour-wide giveaway
Open internationally

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