Tuesday, August 1, 2017

5 Reasons to Read The Blood Race & An Interview With THE AUTHOR HERSELF, K.A. Emmons || THE BLOOD RACE BLOG TOUR


*throws confetti and passes out cake and waffles* 

Ladies and Gentlemen, a super fabulous thing has happened this week... This very day, August 1st, 2017, Katie Emmons' debut novel The Blood Race is available for purchase in both paperback and ebook on Amazon as well as on her website.  I was privileged enough to get an eARC, AND to get to ask her a few interview questions (who doesn't dream of asking an amazing author about their work?!) which I will be sharing today, as well as a ton of reasons you should go buy her book! If you don't already know what an amazing writer she is, I intend to convince you to go read her book with...

5 Reasons to Read K. A. Emmons' Debut Novel The Blood Race

 1. It's Aesthetic as heck!

Katie has the most brilliant way of writing things so that they come alive in a really vibrant and beautiful way.  There was not a moment when I did not feel completely immersed in her story world.  I could try to explain and describe it to you, or I could just share the trailer with you*


*or you could just go buy the book and read it yourself... ya know... just a suggestion...

2. It has ALL the superpowers!

I won't spoil it for you and give away plot twists and major character development, but let's just say each of the anomalies has special abilities, some of which include shape shifting, channeling energy, and throwing fireballs.  Think superheroes, except with a looooot more character development.  My English major heart is pleased <3 Yeah, it's pretty epic and fast paced. Which leads me to my third reason you should read it...

3. You won't be able to put it down.

I made the terrible mistake of starting this book right before I left on vacation, and I had to wait for two and a half days to figure out what happened next because I'd left my laptop at home. *cries*  I spent a few nights with my eyelids propped open to read 'just one more chapter' and then the days at work in between wondering when I could sneak in some more reading time. I literally have not read something so suspenseful and yet with such deep, awesome, flawed characters, in literally, MONTHS. *hugs my poor precious cinnamon rolls to my heart and protects them forever*

4. Portals to another Dimension.  Need I say more?

I probably don't, but I will. The Dimension, as it's called, is one of the coolest places ever.  It sounds otherworldly, and it is, while at the same time retaining a resemblance to Earth in the best way possible.  It's rugged and beautiful and peaceful all at once.  Literally, if I could find a portal to The Dimension I would probably go there instead of college.  Or maybe I'd do both like Ion does. ;) And did I mention, you can visit several places in the world via portals from the Dimension? (i.g. Ireland.  Think about the free vacation opportunities tho... *swoons*)

5. This book was inspiring and thought provoking without being cheesy. #praise

IDEK where to start here.  My brain was literally working the entire time I was reading this book and in the best way possible.  I was constantly comparing patterns of daily life and spirituality with the themes of the book and connecting the dots between things as I read.  I don't know when the last time was that I read a young adult book that actually brought to attention issues of morality and humanity without being explicitly preachy or cheesy or shying away from difficult topics such as doubt and faith and violence.  K. A. Emmons was not afraid to write truthfully and vulnerable and that, in my opinion, is what makes The Blood Race, not only a great debut novel but a Great Novel, period.

And finally, the best part of this post... *drumroll please*...


An Interview With the FABULOUS K.A. Emmons Herself!

Lizzy: Which character(s) did you relate to most and why?

Kate Emmons: I can relate to both Hawk and Ion, but most especially Hawk. She’s such a strong figure in the story, yet she has insecurities that she wrestles quietly. She believes deeply in her mission, yet still stumbles, still fights her own thoughts, and still searches relentlessly for a true sense of identity. That something I think a lot of us can relate to in today’s world. I know it resonates hardcore for me.


Lizzy: What was your inspiration for the Dimension?

Kate: As a New England kid, born and raised in Vermont, I grew up surrounded by fragrant forests of evergreens, looming giants known as mountains, dotted with birches and maples, and glossy lakes nestled into the valleys. I love that pine-scented-air, morning mist, wind-in-my-hair, hawks soaring overhead vibe, because for me it’s primal, and intimate, and home.

When I thought of the Dimension, I automatically dreamed of it not as a cold, sterile, or remotely organized world, but as a wild, lush, primal place of sanctuary strung across a ravine swelling with white clouds of cottony mist. A place that felt like heaven - like home. Never night.


Lizzy: How did you come up with the idea for your series? Is there an interesting story behind it?

Kate: Interestingly enough, I typically don’t get inspiration for stories in very climatic ways, haha. Sometimes it will be something distinct - a person, a place, an event, something someone says. But far more often than not, the story will just ‘drop’ into my head for no particular reason, and I’ll get a visual in my mind of what the story will look like. Then I will just start writing what I ‘see’.


Lizzy: Who/what would you say has had the greatest impact on your writing?

Kate: My faith, hands down. I would have nothing were it not for my Savior. Faith is the gold that flows through the fingertips and becomes the words that need to be said.

And my sister… my sister has always been there for me, and writing with me (an artist herself). We’re constantly bouncing ideas off each other and discussing story ideas. She’s utterly brilliant, in case I didn’t already make that obvious.

Lizzy: What part of The Blood Race was the hardest to write?

Kate: Some of the ‘slower’ technical bits that, at times, I would take a step back from to gain fresh perspective. My goal is always to bring the same energy to a technical aspect as I would to a fight scene, a chase, or a climax.


Lizzy: Everyone seems to see Sensei differently.  How do you think you would see him?

Kate: Oh, wow, that’s a great question! I see him as an older Japanese man with bright eyes and gray hair. Smile lines, a relaxed but weathered brow, and leathery hands that are often digging in the garden. In other words, the way Hawk and Ion both see him. Someone extremely peaceful to be around.


Lizzy: And last but not least, can you tell all of us desperate fans how long we will be waiting in suspense for the next book?

Kate: At this point all I can say is, not too long, I promise! I am currently over here finishing up book 2 in the series - I am already beyond excited to share it with everyone who has enjoyed book 1!


Thank you so much for having me on your amazing blog, Lizzy! I so appreciate the opportunity, and I so enjoyed answering your questions!

Lizzy: Thank YOU, Kate, for answering my burning questions! I cannot wait for the next book to come out and the cliffhanger torment to cease. XD



About the Author


When she’s not hermiting away in her colorfully-painted home office writing her next science fiction, passionate story-teller and adventurer Kate Emmons is probably on the road for a surf or hiking trip, listening to vinyls, or going for a power run. Emmons lives in the often-snowy hills of rugged Vermont with her husband and dog named Rocket.

Follow Kate: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram









xoxo,

Lizzy

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

7 Things That Saved My Life During Camp NaNoWriMo

Let's skip the formalities.  Yes, I know it took me ages to post, but you can't really schedule existential crises and unexpected university paperwork and sudden urges to binge watch Pride and Prejudice. (The 1995 version obvs...) But let's cut to the chase...

Last summer I successfully managed to complete Camp NaNoWriMo with a full first draft of approximately 54K words.  It was one of the proudest moments of my life. (Don't judge. Or do. Just don't tell me.)  However, that was also the summer I was staying with my Grandmother in the PNW and had more than enough free time, a lovely library, park, and a few coffee shops within shaded walking distance, and a proud Nana cheering me on.  This summer will be... different to say the least.  I will be at home in AZ surrounded by siblings, working a part-time job, and to put it simply, constantly distracted by important nothings. I could go on as to why this is going to be a challenge, but as I have not the wit to do so in an entertaining manner, I will spare you the prolonged boredom.  Instead, I will share with you some of the incredible resources and tips that saved my life in July of 2016, and that will hopefully be reliable once more this July.
The thing I wrote...
1) Have a getaway: or two, or three... Mine were the neighbourhood Starbucks, the park, and the library.  All within walking distance.  Sometimes I would take my writing with me, (yay free Starbucks wifi) but more often than not, I would just bring a notebook for any ideas and just enjoy doing nothing for an hour or so per day.  If you're super busy or live in the scorching Southwestern heat this might be challenging or impossible, but there are other ways to improvise. I think mine will be my indoor, air-conditioned gym this year. Which leads me too...
2) Get some exercise:  Cliche, I know, but it helps.  Last summer mine was morning runs and pull-ups at the park jungle gym.  This summer, the gym.  If you don't have a gym membership or you don't dig hardcore workouts (tell me about it fam) maybe try doing some yoga or some other workout in your living room. One of my favourite recent resources that I learned about on Kate's blog is this youtube channel called Fightmaster Yoga.  All of their lessons are free, easy to follow, and they keep their channel updated fairly often.

3) Coffee or Tea: Maybe both. Every day.  BTW, did I mention coffee?
4) Pinterest: You know you need a Pinterest board for the aesthetic and themes of your story.  Don't tell yourself otherwise.  Yes, there is a danger of procrastination, but I can't tell you how much character and plot inspiration I got from putting together my board for The Misfit Club.
5) Set timers: Then race them.  It's fun to set a word goal of 500 words in 20 minutes (that's just an example, some people write slower, some people write faster) and then try beating it. An hour later you've probably met more than half of your daily word count!

6) Support and enjoy other people's art: If you are currently working for hours a day, pouring your hopefully figurative blood and possibly literal sweat and tears into a unique piece of art, you deserve to consume other people's art.  And on the plus side, you'll appreciate it more.  When I was visiting my Grandmother we went to see a theatre performance probably once a week.  Let me just say, there's nothing like Shakespeare in the park to make you inspired to write a masterpiece.  If you live in the middle of nowhere like moi you might have to improvise.  Read a novel, watch Hamlet on Youtube, or flip through a book of art by someone you've never heard of.
7) Make ALLL the playlists:  I prepared for Camp NaNoWriMo by making a playlist for each of my four main characters, and as I've been editing my Camp NaNo novel this year, I've been relistening and adding more songs.  If you like to have a writing soundtrack it can be really helpful to have something that matches the character you're writing for. I still listen to some of the soundtracks for fun.  Dante's is probably one of my favourites.


I hope this post helped you prepare for Camp NaNoWriMo, and if you have any tips that you'd be willing to share, please do!  Also, if any of you are looking for a cabin to join this year, let me know in the comments below and leave your Camp NaNo username so I can send you a cabin invite.

lots of love,

xoxo Lizzy

Thursday, May 18, 2017

hello, it is i, your local emo writer, returned from the land of the dead // an update on life

Today I forgave myself for being a hot mess, made myself some tea, and sat down to edit my Camp NaNo novel from last summer.   And then I started thinking about you all. LIKE, HELLO, HOW LONG HAS IT BEEN ARE Y'ALL STILL EVEN ALIVE AND BREATHING?!

You guys, it's been over half a year since I've posted and I honestly wouldn't be surprised if half of you had forgotten about me.  But just the same, I honestly want to thank you for being such a light in my life.  I know it sounds cheesy and all, but you guys don't know how much you shaped the direction of my life since I started blogging and I HAVE MISSED YOU!!!

I'm not gonna lie, my life has changed drastically since the last time I wrote.

I graduated college.

I had my first relationship.

I got a lead role in a school play.

I didn't get into my dream school.

I had a few minor existential crises.

I started going to the gym.

I got paid to have some of my writing published (some rather dull articles, tbh, but still).

I cried over lots of things. Happy, sad, bittersweet. You name it.

I fell in love with so many people and places and the world in general.

I allowed myself to be vulnerable and insecure, and sometimes it hurt.


And today all of that change, and those experiences, and this liminal phase between endings and beginnings has hit me on the head like a hangover.  It's just so insane how much life can change. And how much you change with it. I don't mean to get all emotional and sappy on y'all now, but this seemed like the best way to catch you up on what's been happening in my life.

I want to get back into blogging this summer.  It's been one of the most therapeutic hobbies of mine, and I also want to catch up with the rest of my blogging, writing, artistic, creative friends in the blogosphere.  I've realized that at this incredibly uncertain point in my life, I need to hold on to what I hold dear and get rid of some of the things that are weighing me down.  This blog, and all of you, my friends and readers, have been one of the best things in my life.

So, if you've made it all the way through my super extra, super emo post, tell me, how are YOU?! 
What are some amazing and life changing things that have happened since we last talked? And also HOW in the heckers do you do this novel editing thing?!?! (plz send hlp...)

Lot's of love,

xoxo
    Lizzy
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