Monday, December 7, 2015

Our Friend Pippa Jay's Release Day is here!

Pippa Jay  is one of our lovely Process Project interviewees, and today is her release day for book two!! Check out all of the information below!

Check out her interview here: Pippa Jay's Writing Process


A seductive tyrant. A lost hero. And a galaxy about to fall...

It’s been a year in paradise for Keir and Quin, but now the idyll is over. After Quin falls sick, they return to the hidden sanctuary of Lyagnius, and what she learns there will not only change their lives, but set them on a journey that could separate them forever.

When Keir falls victim to a ruthless Nercaandi Empress bent on conquering the galaxy with her cybernetic army, it will take all Quin’s diminishing powers and the help of her son to find him. But what waits for her aboard the tyrant’s ship will test her strength and the limits of their love, and put everything she cares about at risk. Including Keir.

With the galaxy itself about to fall, will she be able to save him?

Book Two of the Redemption series and part of the Travellers Universe.

Please add it to your Goodreads shelf HERE, or sign up HERE for my no-spam newsletter for special previews on cover reveals, new releases, the latest giveaways and discounts, and upcoming news. Or click Follow on my Amazon author page.

Buy Keir's Fall at these links below!!

Print to follow. Visit the webpage at!keirs-fall-redemption-2/c1ju0

Book One - Keir - is available for just 99 cents/Euros/pence until the end of December.!keir/c187d

More about Pippa Jay!

After spending twelve years working as an Analytical Chemist in a Metals and Minerals laboratory, Pippa Jay is now a stay-at-home mum who writes scifi and the supernatural. Somewhere along the way a touch of romance crept into her work and refused to leave. In between torturing her plethora of characters, she spends the odd free moment playing guitar very badly, punishing herself with freestyle street dance, and studying the Dark Side of the Force. Although happily settled in the historical town of Colchester in the UK with her husband of 22 years and three little monsters, she continues to roam the rest of the Universe in her head.

Pippa Jay is a dedicated member of the Science Fiction Romance Brigade, blogging at Spacefreighters Lounge, Adventures in Scifi, and Romancing the Genres. Her works include YA and adult stories crossing a multitude of subgenres from scifi to the paranormal, often with romance, and she’s one of eight authors included in a science fiction romance anthology—Tales from the SFR Brigade. She’s also a double SFR Galaxy Award winner, been a finalist in the Heart of Denver RWA Aspen Gold Contest (3rd place), the 2015 EPIC eBook awards, the 2015 RWA LERA Rebecca (2nd place), and the GCC RWA Silken Sands Star Awards (2nd place).

You can stalk her at her website, or at her blog, but without doubt her favorite place to hang around and chat is on Twitter as @pippajaygreen.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

NaNoWriMo 2015

By the way, guys, I am doing NaNoWriMo 2015, in case you want to follow my progress...
Check out my page and buddy up with me here!

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Michelle Madow's Cover Reveal for Elementals #1!

So proud to announce that my friend, Michelle Madow, is releasing a new book this January! 

ELEMENTALS: THE PROPHECY OF SHADOWS is the first in a new series that fans of Percy Jackson and The Secret Circle will love! While the book won't be available until January 26, 2016 -- today, she reveals the cover! Check it out below!


Click to zoom in
When Nicole Cassidy moves from sunny Georgia to gloomy New England, the last thing she expects is to learn that her homeroom is a cover for a secret coven of witches. Even more surprisingly … she’s apparently a witch herself. Despite doubts about her newfound abilities, Nicole is welcomed into this ancient circle of witches and is bedazzled by their powers—and, to her dismay, by Blake—the school’s notorious bad-boy.

Girls who get close to Blake wind up hurt. His girlfriend Danielle will do anything to keep them away, even if she must resort to using dark magic. But the chemistry between Blake and Nicole is undeniable, and despite wanting to protect Nicole from Danielle’s wrath, he finds it impossible to keep his distance.

When the Olympian Comet shoots through the sky for the first time in three thousand years, Nicole, Blake, Danielle, and two others in their homeroom are gifted with mysterious powers. But the comet has another effect—it opens the portal to the prison world that has contained the Titans for centuries. After an ancient monster escapes and attacks Nicole and Blake, it’s up to them and the others to follow the clues from a cryptic prophecy so that they can save their town … and possibly the world.

Pre-order: Amazon | Barnes and Noble | iBooks

***Michelle is offering one lucky winner a signed paperback ARC of Elementals: The Prophecy of Shadows! To enter, simply fill out the Rafflecopter here: Click HERE!!!***

About Michelle Madow

Michelle Madow grew up in Baltimore, graduated Rollins College in Orlando, and now lives in Boca Raton, Florida. She wrote her first book in her junior year of college, and has been writing novels since. Some of her favorite things are: reading, pizza, traveling, shopping, time travel, Broadway musicals, and spending time with friends and family. Michelle has toured across America to promote her books and to encourage high school students to embrace reading and writing. Someday, she hopes to travel the world for a year on a cruise ship.

To chat with Michelle and other fans about her books, join Michelle Madow's Street Team on Facebook!

Connect with Michelle: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

- - - - -

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

.....and we're live!!!!

And just like that, the Process Project is reborn!

Check out our new direct link: 

Process Project: Meet Ami Hendrickson


Ami Hendrickson writes books, screenplays, poetry, songs, manuals, and to–do lists that grow faster than Jack’s beanstalk. She also writes for famous horse people. On occasion, she has been so immersed in polishing plot points that she walked out of a store, leaving her purchases behind. She is represented by AKA Literary Management.

She fuels her muse with coffee and Earl Grey tea. While she has a longstanding love affair with chocolate, her obsession with cinnamon red hots borders on the pathological.

In addition to writing, some of Ami’s favorite pastimes involve riding her Percheron, playing with her dogs, teaching writers workshops, smooching her husband or snuggling her daughter during a movie. And eating the aforementioned red hots. There is always room at her table for one more plate; always room in her heart for one more critter. Ami and her family live with their “vast menagerie” on a 100+ year–old farm in southwest Michigan.

[Please note: In the event that science succeeds in creating a working holodeck, Ami will no longer be available to speak at conferences, as she will be… otherwise engaged. You have been warned.]

Click here to read about Ami Hendrickson's writing process!

Monday, October 19, 2015

Writer's Digest Contest - Dear Lucky Agent

Two quick notes!

First, be sure to check out this contest! It is free to enter! Judged by Eric Smith and hosted by Chuck Sambuchino. Read about the Dear Lucky Agent contest here!

Second, the Process Project is back, this Wednesday. Be sure to tune in for a link to the new website reveal and our latest interview with Ami Hendrickson!

Friday, October 16, 2015

Process Project Unveiling... Wednesday Oct 21!

I am so excited to announce that The Process Project is back, with a brand new website of its own and a massive schedule of amazing interviews coming up! Be sure to check back on Wednesday, October 21st at 5pm to see the new website and read my latest interview with the amazing Ami Hendrickson - she has been such a great online friend and I am so excited to share some insight into her writing process with you.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Process Project Update - Preview on what's to come!

Hi, guys! I just wanted to let you know we're still working on getting things together for the revamped Process Project. Just wait until you see some of the interviews coming up. We have a slew of wonderful writers, published and unpublished. If you think you might have any interest in participating in the project, please send me a tweet (@jacquelinebach) and we can talk!

As a teaser, here are just a few of some of the many great authors we have lined up....
(meaning....this is not even close to all of the AMAZING interviews I have sitting in my inbox!)

Kelly Ann Jacobson, Published Poet and Author of both Adult and Young Adult novels.

Ami Hendrickson, Writes children's books, novels for adults, screenplays, poetry, songs, manuals and to-do lists, as well as books for famous horse people!

Joanna Ruth Meyer, Writes Young Adult Literary Fantasy and also is a pianist! 

Nicole S. Chung, Managing editor at The Toast, featured in several magazines including Slate, Salon,, Bitch Magazine, and The New York Times 

Mark Farrington, Assistant Director and Fiction Advisor in the Johns Hopkins M.A. in Writing program and award winning author with stories that have been anthologized in several anthologies. 

And FYI -- We're also looking at possibly adding a new video feature, more on that to come. 

I can't wait to get things rolling...please tune back in soon!

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Vanessa Kinzey's "Home is Where the Horse Is"

Sierra after her bath!

So the lovely Vanessa Kinzey, blog owner of On The Jazz, shared a very heart warming story about my pony, Sierra! I just wanted to re-post this here and send you guys that way! Just click the link below, and thanks for reading!

Check Out: 
On The Jazz: Home is Where the Horse Is, by Vanessa Kinzey

Saturday, September 5, 2015

I'm finally doing the 7/7/7 Challenge!

I have been nominated a few times, thank you to these three lovely ladies who nominated me!

Michelle Guerrero -- Whose 7/7/7 reminds us that the Internet knows all.
Andrea Contos -- Whose 7/7/7 makes me want to know so much more about Dreaming.
and Linda Simoni-Wastila -- Whose 7/7/7 is quite intense!

First of all, I wanted to tag twenty-one people, because ...don't I get to do that if I was nominated three times? Right? ....I guess not.....but a lot of my nominees have already been scooped up. Though, I still can't fit everyone in just seven *cry.* So, I hope those I've tagged can all play along :)

So, what is this 7/7/7 challenge, you ask? (Or don't ask, because you've already been tagged a bunch of times and done it, and you're like, c'mon, Jackie, get with the shoulda done this a week ago...!)

When you're tagged you do the following.

1) Go to page seven on a WIP*
2) Go to line seven on that page.
3) Copy the next seven lines and paste them onto a blog entry.
4) Then tag seven more people!

Easy right? So here it goes!

*(I say "a WIP" because I am not sure how this works, but if your current WIP is agented and you can't post from it -- maybe post something else you have in the works!)


Actually, I am okay with what this landed on, and I was very nervous about sharing anything from my book.. But it's sort of the heart of the opening that people would know from the get-go, well, in terms of plot at least. P.S. Note, I changed one word (him to dad) in order to give it context for you guys!


If she continued to protest, Tim would use it as an excuse to call her a drama-queen  She dropped her hands into her lap and sighed. “Fine.”
“This man told me he knew a way we would be able to save dad.” He paused. “He said there’s a way to travel in time.”

Daisy laughed.


And, in words stolen from Michelle Guerrero....I throw down the gauntlet to.....

1) Casie Bazay - My new awesome CP! Thanks #Pitchwars!
2) Michelle Madow - A great listener when I need to vent about writing problems.
3) Joanna Meyer - A twitter friend who I just LOVE and she sent me an awesome interview for the Process Project, coming soon!
4) Brighton Walsh - Quite possibly THE most entertaining and funny #Pitchwars twitter feed alive.
5) Sara Mariah - One of my new writer-horsie-twitter friends!
6) Virginia McClain - Because we bonded over her name and chow-mixes :)
7) and last, but not least, Monica M. Hoffman -- because she is now a mentee and she's also awesome!

Alright, go forth and post and please let me know when you do so that I can read!

---Also, I decided because *technically* I should have 21...I want some for each of my nominations....:-P Sorry, this is just fun.
1) Ashlynn
2) Karen Y Bynum
3) Gareth S. Young

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Process Project Update!

I just wanted to check in and let everyone know that the Process Project is currently on a little summer vacation now....

What to look forward to? We have a whole line-up of great writers coming very soon! Great names, great advice, and I can't wait to share them with you!

We'll have a revamp of our site design, as well as a brand new logo!

Thanks for checking back, and in the meantime, please spread the word! Do you have any writer friends that might be interested? Please tweet me! @JacquelineBach

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

The Process Project: Rhiannon Paille

If you're not yet familiar with the Process Project, check us out here!

Meet Rhiannon Paille!

Rhiannon is a Booksmith from the middle of nowhere, Canada. She holds a PhD in Metaphysical Science and Parapsychology, which is to say she happens to know a lot about what goes bump in the night. When she's not writing she's singing karaoke, burning dinner, and hiding her superhero identity. She'd like to own a unicorn one day, as long as it doesn't eat her. You'll find her sipping iced cappuccino despite her allergy to coffee at

And now, for the questions...

What is/are your main genre/field of writing?

Young Adult and Non Fiction

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

The Process Project: Gillian Felix

If you're not yet familiar with the Process Project, check us out here!

Meet Gillian Felix!

Gillian Felix was born in Port of Spain, Trinidad. She grew up watching night time soap operas by Aaron Spelling with her mother. That’s where her obsession with rich, powerful and devious characters were born. After repeatedly seeing Mr. Spelling’s name on the screen night after night, Gillian knew she wanted to be an Aaron Spelling, before she knew that Aaron Spelling was actually a person.

Gillian pursued drama in high school although it was not taught as a “serious subject”. When asked what career she wanted to pursue after graduation, she told her guidance counselor that she wanted to be an actress, and was told that acting is not a “real job”.  

When Gillian moved to the US in 1998, she landed an internship with Spotlight On Theater in New York City, where she learned stage managing, casting and the technical aspect of running a production. Later she branched out into film, and fell in love with the behind the scenes action of film and theatre production. She traded acting and her “real job” for a career in film and theater production. Gillian continued writing novels and scripts but kept them to herself.

When not writing, Gillian can be found volunteering at the New Mexico Children’s Grief Center or hiking the many mountains that surround New Mexico. Gillian can easily get lost in a parking lot and considers herself directionally challenged. She is always grateful for the people she hikes with, because without them she’d be left roaming the mountains like a lost mountain goat.

And now for the questions....

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

The Process Project: Tyrese L. Coleman!

If you're not yet familiar with the Process Project, check us out here!

Meet Tyrese L. Coleman!

Tyrese L. Coleman is a writer, wife, mother, and lawyer. She is also a master's student with the Writing Program at Johns Hopkins University. Her writing has appeared, or is forthcoming, in the Doctor T.J. Eckleburg Review, PANK Magazine Online, the Tahoma Literary Review, Quaint Magazine, and elsewhere. Follow on Twitter @tylachelleco or her blog, Clever Title Pending, at

And now, for the questions...

What is your main genre of writing?

I spend most of my time drafting what I like to consider "literary fiction." I have dabbled in young adult, even wrote a whole YA novel before I started graduate school. But, as anyone who has written anything and then gone to a Master's program afterwards, you realize that how you wrote before "learning how to write" is nothing like how you write once you've "learned" how to do it. So, my YA novel is sitting on an electronic MS Word shelf collecting imaginary dust. I tend to write short stories now, however, it appears that what I am most successful at getting published are my pieces of creative non-fiction.

​What is your writing routine like?

Before I can get into the answer to this question, let me explain a few details of my life -- paint a picture, so to speak. I am a licensed attorney who does not practice, but works full-time for the federal government. I am married to a Historian. We have twin soon-to-be two-year old boys. And I have a four-year old Bassador (Basset Hound and Labrador) named Luna. I am also currently a student with the Writing Program at Johns Hopkins University in Washington, D.C.

Here is an example of my day-to-day schedule and when I find a time and place to write:
  • 6-9am: shower, get kids up and down for breakfast, take care of dog, drop off kids, and get to work
  • 9am-5:30pm: BS with co-workers, eat breakfast, surf internet, turn up PANDORA (usually listening to Sam Cooke or some other soul station) and in between working on what I get paid to work on, I dip into the always-active open screen to my short story/personal essay/workshop critique/online journal/blog/duotrope/etc etc
  • 5:30-7pm: grab kids, make dinner, feed kids, put them to bed (oh, and maybe say hello to my husband...can't forget him)
  • 7pm-10pm: write and/or read, homework, and sometimes, very rarely, watch TV.
I think the above is evidence of my adult ADHD and short attention span than anything else, but it is also evidence that you can fit time to write into any schedule, no matter how tiring it is. Writing is my default, it is what I am doing when I am not doing anything else.

When you are preparing to write a new story, what kinds of techniques or methods do you use to organize your ideas?

Recently, I've been seeing success in my works of creative non-fiction and have decided to continue using my past real-life experiences as impetuous for new material, whether it be fiction or more non-fiction. This could change, but its what I am up to right now.

When I start any new piece, whether it is fiction or non-fiction, I generally focus on a particular memory or sensation, not so much an event. For example, the feeling of having an aunt comb your hair or riding on the handlebars of a bike. I find sensory details much more interesting than actual events. I write down what is happening in that moment, how the character or myself felt, and then proceed with "what happens next." Sometimes that intro is kept in the story, but often times it is taken out because it doesn't fit with the final piece, but it always leads somewhere.

Where the process differs between fiction and non-fiction, for me, is the pace in which I then proceed to work. With my non-fiction, I find that I can complete a first draft in one sitting. This is because the "story" has already happened, I am just documenting it.

However, it can take weeks for me to finish a short story draft. In some instances, I know exactly what I want to do with a story, but because of a lack of writing time, I may not be able to finish it all within a reasonable amount of time. So, I will go through and bullet point the main plot points and then write everything out as I go along. Other times, I may draft it out on a piece of paper, making notes and corrections.

Other times, I brainstorm. The best thing about working in an office are co-workers. When I am stumped on what should happen next in a story, I confer with one of my co-workers and talk about the story out loud with her. She gives me her opinions and thoughts, but mostly, the exercise allows me to let out what I've had boxed up in my brain since I first got the idea. It really helps to think about a story, characters, plot, theme, etc., out loud in able to voice what the story really is about.

While you are working on a piece, do you have any particular way that you structure your work?

As I mention above, if it is fiction, I will bullet point plot points or major thematic elements that I definitely want to include or I will write them down on a piece of paper and keep it with me, often going back and making more notes. I find that when I start writing with no idea as to what I want to have happen, i.e. "letting the story figure itself out," I end up not finishing. So, I am now trying to employ some of type of methodology where I determine at least one major plot and/or thematic point that holds the whole piece together. Then I write on through to those particular "scenes." Sometimes, those ideas change as I write. The story may have started off as one thing, but the characters I have written have taken it off somewhere else. At some point, I reevaluate and determine if what I've written is consistent with what I want to have happen.

I keep everything in Dropbox so that I can access my documents anywhere. Because I often write at work, at home and over and across several different computers, I find Dropbox to be one of the best ways to get to my work whenever I feel like working on it. Inside Dropbox, I have several different folders for the different types of writing I do. And, I save drafts with a date at the end so that I can see which one is the latest right away.

​When it's time to revise your work, do you have any particular methods that you use to help you through the process? ​
Revision...oh boy.

So, I like to revise first by printing off a draft and line editing. I will shred my draft to bits and question as much as I can via that printed document. Then I go back, make the edits, and repeat. I cannot "revise" on a computer screen. Revising on a computer screen is what I consider drafting the story, as I tend to revise what I previously wrote in a draft over and over again until the draft is complete. I print the draft only when its complete, never before. I don't know why...probably for similar reasons sports players grow mustaches during play-offs, superstition, I guess.

After that point, and especially since I started the program, the story gets workshopped or read by someone else before I move on. After workshop, generally there is a larger revision that may include cutting and adding significant portions of the story and reevaluating what is working and what isn't. Again, the printer is cut off. It is not until I address these issues that I start the second revision process. After that, I print and go through line by line, word by word until my eyes bleed or I start dreaming about my characters trying to attack me with Elmo shaped forks and then realize those aren't my characters, but my children instead.

And most importantly: why do you write?

​I write because it makes me happy. Simple as that. It is the one indulgence in my life that I allow myself to obsess over. I don't want to call it a "hobby," because the word "hobby" does not connote the seriousness in which I take my writing. However, I cannot call it "work" because, to me, "work" involves getting paid, and there isn't too much of that happening.

But, writing is my way of life -- getting life, seeing life, enjoying life, loving life, understanding life, making it through life. When I write, I feel the most like "me." Not Tyrese the employee, the wife, the mother, the fur-mom, the friend. I am just me, enjoying life, when I write. That's why I do it. Simple.

I want to thank Tyrese for the wonderful answers and inspiration! We are so happy she was able to add to the Process Project,. I loved seeing the life of a real-life writer who does it all! Thanks, Tyrese!!!

Check out some of her work here!
Follow her on Twitter at @tylachelleco 
And read her blog at

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

The Process Project: Meet Pippa Jay!

If you're not yet familiar with the Process Project, check us out here!

Meet Pippa Jay!

After spending twelve years working as an Analytical Chemist in a Metals and Minerals laboratory, Pippa Jay is now a stay-at-home mum who writes sci-fi and the supernatural. Somewhere along the way a touch of romance crept into her work and refused to leave. In between torturing her plethora of characters, she spends the odd free moment playing guitar very badly, punishing herself with freestyle street dance, and studying the Dark Side of the Force. Although happily settled in the historical town of Colchester in the UK with her husband of 21 years and three little monsters, she continues to roam the rest of the Universe in her head.

Pippa Jay is a dedicated member of the Science Fiction Romance Brigade and Broad Universe, blogging at Spacefreighters LoungeAdventures in Scifi, and Romancing the Genres. Her works include YA and adult stories crossing a multitude of sub-genres from sci-fi to the paranormal, often with romance, and she’s one of eight authors included in a science fiction romance anthology—Tales from the SFR Brigade. She’s also a double SFR Galaxy Award winner, been a finalist in the Heart of Denver RWA Aspen Gold Contest (3rd place), the EPIC eBook awards, and the GCC RWA Silken Sands Star Awards (2nd place).

You can find all of her titles on her Amazon page or on her website.

And now for the questions...!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

The Process Project: Meet Kara Jorgensen!

If you're not yet familiar with the Process Project, check us out here!

Kara Jorgensen is an author and professional student from New Jersey who will probably die slumped over a Victorian novel. An anachronistic oddball from birth, she has always had an obsession with the Victorian era, especially the 1890s. Midway through a dissection in a college anatomy class, Kara realized her true passion was writing and decided to marry her love of literature and science through science fiction or, more specifically, steampunk. When she is not writing, she is watching period dramas, going to museums, or babying her beloved dogs.

And now, for the questions...

JB: What is your genre? 

KJ: My main genre currently is historical fantasy or more specifically steampunk, but my work tends to have a literary fiction edge. I have another series on the backburner that I will be working on soon that is fantasy.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

The Process Project: Meet Gareth S. Young!

If you're not yet familiar with the Process Project, check us out here!

Meet Gareth S. Young!

This week I am proud to introduce my friend who I call Spartagus :) I met Gareth on Twitter and read his book Monsters (which you should get your copy of asap!) and we became fast friends! 

Gareth S. Young was born and raised in Scotland, but has now lived for more than 15 years in the American Midwest. This has played havoc with his accent. In 2010, he published his first full length story, a mystery/suspense novel called Monsters  In April 2013, his short story "The Orange-headed Serpent" was published in the Orange Karen Anthology. 2015 will see the release of Dynamo City: The Wolves of Dynamo, part one of an audacious YA urban fantasy series. Other upcoming works include Persephone, the much anticipated follow up to Monsters  and part two of the Dynamo City saga.

And now for the questions....

JB: What is your main genre of writing? 

GY: Mystery/thriller, although I'm currently working on a series of Young Adult Urban Fantasy books.

JB: What is your writing routine? 

GY: I usually write at my desk on the PC or on the couch with the laptop. Invariably I find myself writing at night, since I work second shift and get home late. I have found that my inability to sleep and my imagination intersect perfectly in the evening time. When I'm writing, I often use music to set the general mood, to influence pace, or to focus on a specific emotion. I tend towards music without lyrics, to avoid getting too caught up in the words, and that means I have several movie soundtracks in constant rotation. There's no special food I like to eat. In fact, I prefer not to eat when I'm writing to avoid greasy fingers, interruptions in my typing and, I really need to watch my weight. Plenty of liquids, though.

JB: When you are preparing to write a new story, what kinds of techniques or methods do you use to organize your ideas? 

GY: I always try to write down ideas--on bits of paper if I'm not at home, or on the computer if I am. I spend a lot of time thinking about what I'm going to write before I really get stuck into it, just playing ideas out in my head until something feels good. I'll run scenes that will mark the path to the end, although I leave a lot of room for the characters to lead me off in different directions. I like to build the characters from the ground up, giving them a deep history, even if I never use it, and figure out character traits and dynamics between characters. That way, I will be able to write in different voices without feeling all my characters sound the same.

JB: While you are working on a piece, do you have any particular way that you structure your work? 
GY: I tend not to get stuck too much in one format, but I like to make sure there's a certain symmetry to my stories. I love the idea of fractals -- a never ending pattern on any scale. You can zoom in and see the same image as if you zoom out. In stories I like the idea that the broad theme of the story can be seen whether you look at the story as a whole or if you're looking at only one character. Sort of like a fractal.

Also, you have to understand the arc of your main character, your character has to "change" in some way, so it's important you know how to affect that change. Sometimes this means breaking down the most important scenes, figuring out where they go in the story, and connecting the dots between. Sometimes it means writing yourself into a corner to see if your character can get out of it. I write important dialogue heavy scenes first as pure dialogue, no description or direction, just to get the beats of the conversation. With action, I do a rough outline to be fine tuned later. I find opening chapters difficult. The first half-dozen are often the most re-written in my stories. Once I get going, though, I am usually able to see the map in my head and I write to that. I'll write down details, dates, times, and all the character information for reference, but my stories sometimes have little shape until I've gone through them once. I actually broke Monsters into three sections/parts/acts to pace it out better. For my urban fantasy I just wrote and the rhythm came naturally.

JB: When it's time to revise/edit your work, do you have any particular methods that you use to help you through the process?

GY: Yes, I use an editor. lol. My first release of Monsters was riddled with mistakes despite the fact I went through it a dozen times. I think after a while, you become blind to your own mistakes, so it's always better to get some fresh eyes on it. I pulled the book and enlisted the editorial services of Gina Hylton (a.k.a. author Regina West), who whipped it into fighting shape. I re-released it, feeling much better about it. Being self-published puts you under a little more scrutiny, and I've learned there's no reason to settle for second best just because you put the book out yourself. Work hard, get help, hire an editor and probably someone to do your cover. The dollars might add up, but its worth it to put out the best book you can.

JB: And most importantly: why do you write? 

GY: I write because I remember what it was like sitting in a movie theater as the Imperial Star Destroyer chased the rebel transport through space...and remember watching Bruce Willis realize he was a ghost. I remember racing through the words as Boo Radley rescued Jem...and being shocked to discover the man from The Scythe wasn't just cutting wheat, he was doing the work of Death...and stunned as the hunters returned from the past in A Sound of Thunder to find their own time had changed because one of them had strayed from the artificial path and crushed a butterfly. It is so much fun to be caught up in a make-believe world to the point you are invested in a make-believe character. I don't know why we care about these things, but we do, and the excitement, terror, and satisfaction we can feel from stories is something I want to recreate and share.

* Imperial Star Destroyer chasing Rebel transport? Star Wars of course. A ghostly Bruce Willis? The Sixth Sense. Boo Radley and Jem are from To Kill a Mockingbird. The Scythe and A Sound of Thunder are two classic short stories by Ray Bradbury.

Thank you so much, Gareth, for participating in the Process Project! 

You must follow SpartaGus on the web!
 @Spartagus on Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Wattpad | Blog | Monsters

Monsters (available as paperback and Kindle ebook)

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

The Process Project: Meet Talia Vance!

If you're not yet familiar with the Process Project, check us out here!

Meet Talia Vance!

This week I am so incredibly excited to share my interview with Talia Vance. Last summer I read Talia's Silver (ripe with Irish lore and handsome boys and tons of drama to boot....I am holding off reading the sequel, Gold, until this summer).

Talia Vance is a practicing litigation attorney living in Northern California with her real life love interest, two-point-five kids, and a needy Saint Bernard named Huckleberry. Talia has been writing since she could talk, making up stories for every doll, stuffed animal and action figure she could get her hands on. She grew up hoping to write the great American novel, but her life ran more along the lines of tortured romance and fast paced thrillers, so that's what she writes. (From

And now, onto the juicy stuff....!

JB: What is your main genre?

TV: I write Young Adult novels, both contemporary and fantasy, but all of them have a touch of romance to them.

JB: ​What is your writing routine like? Do you have any writing rituals?

Talia: Since I work during the week, my writing time falls on the weekends. I spend most Saturday and Sunday afternoons curled up on my couch with my laptop and a latte (or two). I’ll write for hours at a time, shooting for 2500-4000 words a session if I’m working on a first draft. If I’m revising, I don’t have specific word count goals, but I do try to set a goal, such as finishing a new plot outline, or working setting details into the scenes.

I often listen to music while I write, creating a playlist for each manuscript. Once I find a song that fits a character or mood I’m trying to create, I listen to it while brainstorming or editing, although I don’t really “hear” it unless I stop to think.

JB: When you are preparing to write a new story, what kinds of techniques do you use to organize your ideas?

Talia: My pre-writing process has always been short, because I love to discover characters and plot points while I write the first draft. However, this leads to a lot of stops and starts (and LOTS of revision), so I’ve expanded it for recent books, taking a couple of days to formulate scenes and plot points, so that I have a fairly complete outline of the story before I start.

I use a corkboard and stack of index cards to brainstorm ideas for scenes. There are usually four or five big scenes that I already have in mind, so I start with those, and then fill in the scenes that happen in between. Once I have the scenes in an order that makes sense, I start to write.

I’ve noticed that I almost never go back and look at my corkboard once the work is done, but doing the work ahead of time helps me to keep the entire plot trajectory in mind while I’m writing, so that even when the story deviates from the initial plan there is a structure there.

JB: While you are working on a piece, do you have any particular way that you structure your work?

Talia: Every book has been a little different, but I usually start one Word document and write scenes in chronological order. I don’t outline scenes in advance, and often have only a vague idea of what happens. The scene prompt might be as simple as “A and B go out on a date.” I let the scene unfold as I’m writing, and often the characters and situation will supply the conflict without my having to think about it too much about it. Since I’ve already done my plot outline, I know where the scene fits into the overall story structure. This helps with making sure the scene moves the story forward, but I don’t worry about that while I’m writing. That is something that can always be fixed in revision.

My favorite scenes are usually the ones that surprise me while I’m writing them, when a character does something that reveals a layer I wasn’t aware of, or the story takes a compelling turn I hadn’t yet thought about. One of my favorite plot lines in the BANDIA series is Brianna’s time travel scenes with Austin and the way those scenes bring us full circle. Those scenes weren’t in my outline, but flowed organically during the writing.

​JB: When it's time to revise, do you have any particular methods that you use to help you through the process? ​

Talia: My revision process works from the outside in. I start with a big picture plot overview. After the first draft is done, I take down my corkboard and create a new one, using cards for each chapter in the book and pinning them to the board to give me a visual representation of the novel. Recently, I’ve added a calendar, which I create from a Word template, which gives me a visual representation of the story’s plot points in relation to each other on a timeline. From there, I figure out where there are gaps in the plot (scenes that need to be added) and scenes that aren’t serving the story (things that need to be cut). I’ll also move scenes around on the board, experimenting with different plot structure before making any changes in the manuscript. Once I’ve determined what to cut, add and move, I create a third corkboard, which serves as the outline for the next revision. Then I go into the manuscript and cut, add and move as needed.

Once I have the plot where I feel comfortable with it, I will start working on the scenes within the story. First, I’ll go through and note where certain plot points need to be expanded or dropped within the scenes themselves. Once this is done, I’ll do a revision where I focus on conflict within scenes, then one pass for setting, one pass for dialogue and one for voice. Once those are done, I’ll send the word document to my Kindle and do a read through. This is my favorite part, because the manuscript looks like a real book, and both the parts that are working and the parts that still need work are easier to spot.

JB: And most importantly....why do you write?

Talia: I love to discover characters and stories. There is nothing like the excitement the comes with an idea you can’t shake, the need to get it all down and see where it leads, and the satisfaction of watching something rough develop into something you love.

I want to extend a big giant THANK YOU to Talia for participating in the Process Project. I hope you enjoyed her interview as much as I did. You should go out and get a copy of her books now! You can purchase Talia's books on Amazon.  And you can check her out on the web in these spots!

Read more about her books below!!!


"As I step into the room, a silver flash blurs my vision. Before I can take a breath, the world falls away."

Brianna has always felt invisible. People stare right past her, including the one boy she can't resist, Blake Williams. But everything changes at a house party when Brianna's charm bracelet slips off and time stands still. In that one frozen, silver moment, Blake not only sees her, he recognizes something deep inside her that she's been hiding even from herself. Discovering she is descended from Danu, the legendary Bandia of Celtic myth, Brianna finds herself questioning the truth of who she is. And when she accidentally binds her soul to Blake, their mutual attraction becomes undeniable. But Blake has his own secret, one that could prove deadly for them both. Bound together by forbidden magic, Brianna and Blake find themselves at the heart of an ancient feud that threatens to destroy their lives and their love.

Read SILVER: Amazon | B&N | BAM | Kindle | Nook


Descended from an Irish demigod, Brianna has fled to Ireland to escape destruction at the hands of her sworn enemies, the Sons of Killian. Taking refuge at the estate of her former nemesis, Austin Montgomery, Brianna discovers a rift in time that opens to an era before the feud began.

Wrestling with her newfound feelings for the more innocent Austin, Brianna begins to wonder if she can alter the past. But when Brianna and Austin learn that the Sons are raising an army of mythical beasts, the pair will need to use their magical strength in the present to avoid a tragic end.

Read GOLD: Amazon | B&N | BAM | Kindle | Nook


Fields' Rule #1: Don't fall for the enemy.

Berry Fields is not looking for a boyfriend. She's busy trailing cheaters and liars in her job as a private investigator, collecting evidence of the affairs she's sure all men commit. And thanks to a pepper spray incident during an eighth grade game of spin the bottle, the guys at her school are not exactly lining up to date her, either.

So when arrogant—and gorgeous—Tanner Halston rolls into town and calls her "nothing amazing," it's no loss for Berry. She'll forget him in no time. She's more concerned with the questions surfacing about her mother's death.

But why does Tanner seem to pop up everywhere in her investigation, always getting in her way? Is he trying to stop her from discovering the truth, or protecting her from an unknown threat? And why can't Berry remember to hate him when he looks into her eyes?

With a playful nod to Jane Austen, Spies and Prejudice will captivate readers as love and espionage collide.


Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Michelle Madow's Diamonds Are Forever Cover Reveal!!

It's May fifth! You know what that, I'm not talking about Cinco de is Michelle Madow's Diamonds are Forever cover reveal!

"What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas … but that doesn’t matter when you live there. Sisterhood, first crushes and scandalous secrets explode in book three of Michelle Madow’s The Secret Diamond Sisters."

Needless to say, I am so excited to be a part of today's cover reveal!!! The official reveal happened earlier today on USA Today's Happily Ever After blog. AHHH. USA TODAY?! Words cannot express how proud I am of Michelle. If you haven't read the first two books in The Secret Diamond Sisters series, please do. They are super fun and addictive. I love all of her characters and their individual stories...and book two (Diamonds in the Rough) leaves readers wanting more. I can't wait to read the final book in this trilogy, though I must admit it's a melancholy moment -- been waiting to find out what happens next, but knowing every word you read gets you closer to the end -- will definitely have to saver this one!

Michelle started off by self-publishing her first trilogy, the Transcend Time Saga, and then, through hard work and perseverance, Michelle got a three book deal with Harlequin Teen! I'm not sure what she's got up her sleeve next, but I have no doubts it's going to be amazing!

And is the BEAUTIFUL cover......!!!!

It's cold outside, but the drama is hot!

The Diamond sisters jet to the mountains for spring break, and Savannah's flirt-mance with international pop star Perry Myles continues as her pursuit of stardom succeeds. But is it "meant to be" with Perry, or has the right guy been in front of her eyes this entire time? Meanwhile, Courtney takes the next step with her secret boyfriend -- and future stepbrother -- Brett…and with Adrian and Rebecca's wedding approaching, they feel more pressure than ever to reveal their relationship. Peyton might be figuring out a direction for her future, but she feels responsible for her bodyguard Jackson being fired, and wonders if the best way to find solace for her guilt is in the arms of someone else. But the biggest bombshell will change everything once again, because Madison's ready to tell the Diamond sisters the truth about the huge secret she's uncovered. And with Oliver, the boy who betrayed her but who could be the love of her life, in the hospital fighting for his own life, she might need the Diamonds more than ever.

Pre-order your copy today!


Michelle Madow wrote her first novel, Remembrance, in her junior year of college. Remembrance is the first book in The Transcend Time Saga, a three part series about reincarnation and true love that Michelle successfully self-published. The series was inspired by Taylor Swift's "Love Story" music video. Michelle's latest YA series, The Secret Diamond Sisters, about three sisters who discover they are the secret heirs to a Las Vegas billionaire casino owner, was published in March 2014 by Harlequin Teen. The second book in the series, Diamonds in the Rough, released in November 2014, and the third book, Diamonds are Forever, will be coming out in November 2015. Michelle is active on social media networks and has toured across America to promote her books and encourage high school students to embrace reading and writing.
Michelle lives in Boca Raton, Florida, where she is writing more novels for young adults. She loves reading, spending time with family and friends, traveling the world, shopping, Disney fairy tales, Broadway musicals, and loves talking with fans on Facebook (/MichelleMadow), Twitter (@MichelleMadow), and Instagram (@MichelleMadow).

To chat with Michelle and other fans about her books, join Michelle Madow's Street Team on Facebook!

Connect with Michelle:  Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Instagram  |  Goodreads

Ways to follow