I'm excited to have R.P. Channing here with me today. His book, Thirst, Blood of my Blood, is now available on Amazon.
Thirst, Blood of my Blood
by R.P. Channing
Genres: Young Adult Romance, Paranormal Romance, High School, Vampires, Demons, Witches, Dark Fantasy, Horror
About the book:
~ Kira Sutherland ~
After a near fatal accident (and getting
cheated on by her 'boyfriend'), and beating up the lead cheerleader (with whom
the boyfriend cheated...), and being labeled as having 'issues' in her school
because she, uhm, sees ghosts, Kira is left with two choices:
1. Continue her 'therapy' (where she's told
the ghost is a hallucination and also gets her legs ogled too often...)
2. Go to Starkfield Academy, a boarding
school for "Crazies and Convicts" (as the social media sites call
She chooses the latter...
~ Cory Rand ~
Cory Rand has not had an easy life. His
mother died in a car accident when he was twelve, and so did his mother's best
friend...sort of. You see, Janice made a promise to take care of Cory just
before she died, and so she lingers. Undead. A ghost that watches out for him.
Brought up in an abusive home, Cory quickly
falls into a life of disreputable behavior. After his third offense (which was
prompted by a girl, as usual - he has a weakness) he's left with two choices:
1. Be tried as an adult and share a cell
with a guy named Bubba (he thinks...)
2. Go to Starkfield Academy, which Cory is
pretty sure is run by vampires. But, hey, at least he'll get an education.
He chooses the latter...
It's at Starkfield that Kira meets Cory
Rand, a boy with an insatiable Rage who sees ghosts, too. As well as other
things, other things from his past, things that confuse him, things like fire
and witches and demons.
Things he's always ignored.
Please help me welcome R.P. Channing.
Cherie: Where did you get the idea for your novel?
R.P. Channing: Honestly? It came out of nowhere. I just started writing one day and it grew. The story as it is now bears little resemblance to the one I started writing initially. The ideas came to me as I wrote and developed the characters.
Cherie: Funny how much an idea can change once an author starts to write the story. What was the most difficult chapter to write?
R.P. Channing: The entire second half of the book was absolute murder to write. I lost count of the number of times I rewrote the thing and touched it up.
Cherie: Can you share with us something about Kira and Cory that we don’t learn about them from reading the book?
R.P. Channing: Kira lives in New York State (either in Nassau or Suffolk County). I decided not to mention this so she could be from "Any Town USA" as her hometown has little bearing on the story. Cory's mother was drinking and driving when she had the car accident. This is not mentioned in the book.
The other thing I didn't reveal is the true source of Cory's internal power... ;)
Cherie: Interesting insight into both of your characters. So tell us, what are you working on now?
R.P. Channing: Book Two. There will be several in this series, but each book will stand on its own, with no cliffhangers, and no need to read the earlier books to understand the later ones.
I am also working on another story (mostly in my head) that I've picked up and dropped three times already, a dystopian novel that really excites me - but there is no time for it now. The Starkfield Academy series will take precedence for now.
Cherie: Good to know there will be more books! Thanks for being with us today.
R P Channing started writing three years
ago, but never published anything even after churning out over a million words
of fiction. Thirst: Blood of my Blood is the first book he dared to publish.
When asked why, he said, “Because I wouldn’t feel bad telling my mother about
it...” When not hammering away (most literally) at his keyboard, he can be
found buried in a book, reading anything from romance to horror to young adult
to non-fiction to comedy. If it has words in it, I’ll take it.
Michael Abayomi's IWSG post reminded me of a guest post I did for Uncommon YA earlier this year that I thought was worth repeating here since it's a subject that comes up often in my critique groups and in workshops. If you haven't visited Michael's blog, you should check it out. He always shares insightful posts.
So, here I go again, talking about
voice. But voice in a novel is so important and it's not always about dialogue and
inner monologue. Today I'm talking about writing with an active voice and using strong verbs.
An active voice will help your prose come
alive and have readers devouring the words in front of them, But what exactly is an active voice? Simply put: in
a sentence written in an active voice the subject of the sentence performs an
It's the difference between saying:
She was walking.
I have been sleeping
An active voice conveys a clear, concise image of what the characters are doing, and this helps readers form a picture of the scene in their mind. It tightens the writing and makes the story stronger.
TIP: Search your
work-in-progress for auxiliary verbs and replace them with active verbs.
Examples of auxiliary verbs: am, are, is, was, were, will be, has been,
Now let's take our writing one
step further and add strong, more expressive verbs and a little more detail to
the use of an active voice to help readers paint a vivid picture of the
scene in their mind and have them feeling as if they are in the middle of the
could say,“He pressed the button.”
“He jabbed the button with new purpose”paints a better
picture of the character's emotion and actions.
Strong verbs do a better job of
There's nothing wrong with “He looked my way.”
“His sapphire gaze burned through me” not only shows us what
the character is doing, it conveys a sense of intensity and intimacy.
It's the difference in saying, “She
sat, tired.” and ”She flopped down on the threadbare
Strong verbs pull readers into the story and keeps them turning the pages.
TIP: Use verbs that convey the clearest message.
Examples: ate or devoured; hit or pummel.
Take the challenge: watch for places in your work-in-progress where you can turn a passive passage into an active one and where you can chop weak verbs and replace them with strong verbs. I promise you'll be happy with the results. I'm always on the lookout for tips and advice on writing, so please feel free to share your tips in the comment section! Thanks for stopping by!
Hi everyone! You might remember from a few months ago that I mentioned things here have been hectic. The good news is life is starting to level out again, thank goodness. My insecurity now is that it might not last. Or maybe that's more of a fear. Either way, I'm trying very hard to focus on positive things and one of those things is my writing.
I started three projects: a MG fantasy, a realistic YA, and an adult paranormal. It's not uncommon for me to work on a couple projects at one time, but this is the first time I have three first drafts going. I tried outlining, but that wasn't helping me figure out what I want to happen. So for now I'm writing the scenes I know and will worry about filling in the rest later. I am hoping to fall into a good flow with one of these stories. Fingers crossed that's soon.
Are you an outliner or a pantser? Do you work on more than one story at a time? How do you pick which project you're going to focus on?
Hi everyone! Life in general has been a bit hectic these past few month, which has left me little time to fret over writing. So this month, for IWSG, I'm keeping things simple and sharing a few inspirational quotes that keep me going. I hope you enjoy them.
I love writing dialogue.
Done well, dialogue brings a scene alive, builds characters, and advances the
plot. But just as great dialogue can pull a reader into a story, bad dialogue
can snap a reader out of the scene and have them putting the book down. Below
are ten tips to help you create realistic dialogue no matter what genre you
dialogue starts with knowing your characters and their world. Sex, age, social
status, location and genre have to be considered. Once you know who your
characters are, you’re ready to begin.
I like to start by eavesdropping
on conversations around me, but I don’t just listen to what’s being said and
neither should you. Pay attention to the cadence of the speaker’s voice, word choice,
facial expressions, and gestures. Study these same things when you watch your
favorite TV series and movies. Stop to think about what you like and dislike
about the dialogue in the books you read.
Keep sentences short
and succinct. People talk in clipped sentences. Reflect this in your writing.
Break up dialogue with
action that helps to convey emotion, mood, or grounds the reader in the scene. This is where paying attention to people’s
actions comes in handy.
Avoid info dumps. Dialogue
that’s used as a tool to provide long blocks of back story or exposition
doesn’t ring true. It comes across as forced or as the writer stepping in to
provide important detail that should have been woven into the story in other
Only include what is
important to the story. Take out boring and unnecessary dialogue.
Keep tags simple. Said
is overlooked, whereas words such as demanded and interjected can pull a reader
out of the action. Good dialogue will convey these things.
Avoid slang and too
much swearing. These can date your book or alienate readers.
Keep your dialogue
clean. Avoid words like um, uh and oh. While realistic, it reads over the top
and doesn’t look well on the page.
And last but definitely
not least, read your dialogue out loud. The places you stumble are the places
you need to revise.
There you have it, ten tips for writing realistic dialogue. If you have any you'd like to add, please leave them in the comments.
Hi everyone! Don't forget to stop by Alex's blog for a special announcement. (I'm not sure what it is (since I'm typing this the day before), but I'm excited to find out! I'll be co-hosting SCBWI Food for Thought this month with my good friends, authors Kym Brunner and Katie Sparks. Our topic is Social Media for Scaredy Cats, and my section is on Twitter. So, to have a little fun with this, I created my very first You Tube video. I'd love to get your thoughts, suggestions are welcome.
Twitter Dos and Don'ts for Writers
Are you active on Twitter, Instagram or another social media site? Do you have any pet peeves when it comes to social media? What's your favorite platform? Any suggestions for writers? If you have a Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest or Facebook account, I'd love to connect (if we haven't already)! Just leave your links in the comments, and I'll find you. Or follow my links on the side bar.
year has passed since WHO R U REALLY? by Margo Kelly came out in hardback, and
now, Merit Press (the YA imprint of F+W Media) is publishing a paperback
version of the young adult thriller! Its official release date is September 4,
2015, and to celebrate, we’re giving away FIVE signed paperback copies! For a
chance to win one, simply follow the steps below in the Rafflecopter.
About the book:
Thea discovers a new role-playing game online, she falls under the spell of
Kit, an older boy whose smarts and savvy can’t defeat his loneliness and
near-suicidal despair. As Kit draws soft-hearted Thea into his drama, she
creates a full plate of cover stories for her parents and then even her
friends. Ripped from a true-life story, Who R U Really? will scare you as
Thea’s life spins out of her control.
Here are a few of the exciting things that have
happened since WHO R U REALLY? debuted as a hardback:
Place in the YA Category for the Idaho Author Award
Department of Homeland Security took notice:
invited Margo to partner with the STOP. THINK. CONNECT. campaign, which is the
global cyber security awareness campaign to help people stay safer and more
have applauded the story:
is sure to spark a dialogue between parents and teens as well as tell an
appealing cautionary tale to a younger audience and would be a good addition to
any middle school, high school, or public library.” The Idaho Librarian
the different trending social media out there, this book is intriguing because
the story centers around a naive yet strong-willed girl who falls into the trap
of an internet predator. … You will definitely want to read this book to find
out what happens!” The Dallas Public Library
Praise for Who R U Really?:
tense thriller offers useful lessons." --The Horn Book Guide
on actual events, the story should be required reading for all teens."
shows us just how terrifying, dangerous and unknown the world of online gaming
can be--especially for a young teen.... The book is well-written and the story
believable and engaging...I strongly recommend this book." --The Idaho
Kelly is a native of the Northwest and currently resides in Idaho. A veteran
public speaker, Margo is now actively pursuing her love of writing. Who R
U Really? is her debut novel, published by Merit Press. The Department
of Homeland Security has partnered with Margo to promote online safety. Margo
welcomes opportunities to speak to youth groups, library groups, and book
clubs. For more information, visit her website: www.margokelly.net