New Book Release: Fiction Writing Workbook by Robin Woods

Hello readers,

I have a special announcement today. My good friend and writing partner in crime, Robin Woods, has released her seventh book! It’s her first non-fiction book: a writer’s workbook.

This workbook is awesome because it’s great for both “aspiring” and seasoned writers. There’s lots of great space to write down thoughts, ideas, and outlines, while also having some good structure as guidance. I highly recommend this book, especially since it makes a great Christmas present. 🙂

Here’s the blurb (from Amazon):

“This workbook provides a space for you to journal ideas and thoughts for your next–or first–best seller. Robin not only shares her knowledge gained by years of experience, but thoughtfully gives space for writers to reflect and hand-write their ideas and moments of inspiration.” –author and editor Tamar Hela 

Writing a first draft can be daunting. This workbook provides guidance for key elements of fiction writing that help create a cohesive novel. Additionally, it gives writers powerful reference resources to create an emotionally authentic work and the space to hash it all out in one, easy-to-carry book.

Workbook sections include:

  • Brainstorm and outlining
  • Plotting and the “Tent Pole” Method
  • Character Worksheets
  • Conflict
  • Setting
  • Lined pages for easy journaling
  • And more!

Reference sections include:

  • Common publishing terms and abbreviations
  • Using numerals in text
  • Clichés and newbie errors
  • Symbols and symbolism
  • Synonyms
  • Self-editing checklist and beta readers
  • And more!
Some page samples from the workbook.

Some page samples from the workbook.

Yes, I DID write the foreword, thus I’m quoted at the beginning of the blurb. Pretty cool, huh?

You can grab a copy for yourself and/or your writing friends by clicking HERE.

Visit Robin Woods at her website, follow her on Twitter, or check out her Facebook page.

 

New Release: The Fallen Part 2 by Robin Woods

Happy Thursday, readers!

I wanted to let you all know about a new release from my dear friend and writing partner, Robin Woods. Her exciting and sexy YA Vampire Watcher Series has finally come to its conclusion. I have been a fan from the start, and was able to beta read, proofread, and edit most of the series. I highly recommend this book; grab your copy TODAY:

Amazon:

Click HERE

Add it on Goodreads:

Click HERE

Here’s the gorgeous cover:

25179677

And click HERE to visit Robin’s website to find out where you can stalk her online. Hope you guys pick up a copy! Happy reading! 🙂

IMG_7812About Robin:

Young adult fiction writer, Robin Woods, was born and raised in San Jose, CA where she earned a BA in English and a MA in Education from local universities. In addition to writing, Robin has been teaching high school English for over two decades and works as a college professor. Her love of working with teenagers and her love of books inspired her to begin writing in the teen genre.

Robin’s love affair with vampire lore began at age eight when she was mesmerized by Bram Stoker’s Dracula. She took advantage of her summers off and traveled all of Europe; she even managed to find herself in one of Vlad Dracul’s castles in Romania. She escaped unharmed.

When she is not torturing her high school English students or chasing her two small children around, she is sitting in a local coffee shop wondering how vampires like their lattes.

Character Interview: Tyran/Taranis from The Watcher Series

book boyfriend

Okay, so let’s all be real with each other for a minute and admit that we have fictional crushes. My very first fictional crush—and I don’t think I’ve confessed this since Kindergarten, mind you—was Bugs Bunny. HAHAHAHAHAHAAA!!! Now, it’s slightly embarrassing, but I obviously wasn’t thinking about LOVE in the real sense (or even sexuality) as a 5-year-old. I just thought the cartoon character was funny and cute and always managed to get away from the notorious Elmer Fudd.

As I became older, I still had cartoon crushes, but they were at least human cartoons. Okay, actually, I think I did kinda have a crush on Rocko from Rocko’s Modern Life. (Don’t judge. Fine, you CAN, but just don’t tell me.) And, of course, I grew up with Disney, so I crushed on almost every prince or hero in the cartoon movies.

Finally, when I was nearing junior high age and reading tons and tons of books on my own, I began developing crushes on fictional literary characters. Since then, I have collected quite a string of fictional boyfriends and will continue to add to my list as I discover new books. However, the guest on my blog today has…I dunno…like that something extra special about him. Good thing I happen to know his creator, Robin Woods, quite well, because I can ask her about him as much as I want.

But today, I have the bad boy vampire prince all to myself, and he’s here to answer my questions.

Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome my #1 fictional boyfriend, Tyran! *clapping my hands, making internal cat calls, and fanning myself* I’ll let Tyran speak for himself while I ask him questions, and then you can decide if he’ll be your next crush, too. Here we go:

Me: Hi, Tyran. Or…should I say Prince Tyran? Thank you so much for letting me interview you on my blog today.

Tyran: Whatever you prefer. (He waves his hand dismissively, but I swear he winks at me.) It is my pleasure to be interviewed by you.

Me: So, let’s cut to the chase. (I gulp nervously.) How long have you been a vampire?
Tyran: My entire existence; I was born a vampire.

Me: Do sparkly vampires, like Edward Cullen, actually exist? (I have to hold back my smirk.)
Tyran: (He rolls his eyes and flicks his wrist as if batting away the question.) Cliché. Next.

Me: (I want to press him about the former question for a real answer, but there’s something in the way he’s watching me that tells me it’s best to move on.) What’s the best thing about being a vampire?
Tyran: Superiority.

Me: (His answers are so clipped, but I need to remain calm, cool, and collected. I move to the next question on my list.) What’s the worst thing about being a vampire?
Tyran: There is nothing bad about being me. (He raises an eyebrow, and I suck in a breath. I’m nervous all over again, like when I asked out my old junior high crush for the Sadie Hawkins dance freshman year of high school.)

Me: Do you like being a prince?
Tyran: (Examining his nails and looking bored.) Nothing else would do now, would it?

Me: I suppose not. (I nod a little too emphatically.) Do you have any special abilities? 
Tyran: Strength, speed, mind-control, and several other things I would be happy to show you.

Me: (Is it hot in here or is it just me? I find myself reaching up to the back of my neck and rubbing it as if that will steady me somehow. Then I clear my throat after what seems like 100 years, but is closer to 10 seconds.) If you wanted to take someone like me—er…a woman on a date, how would you plan it? Do you plan ahead like that?
Tyran: My planning would be meticulous. I like to familiarize myself with whomever I have interest in. Especially if it were with the likes of you. (The way he says the last sentence sounds very intimate. My throat is suddenly dry and I have to take a sip from my water while he’s looking me up and down.)

Me: Do you have a favorite book? (I hope and pray this is a safe question. But then again, nothing is safe about Tyran.)
Tyran: I prefer the classics. (He laughs and winks at me.) The Prince by Niccolò Machiavelli or maybe something by Sun Tsu. (He pauses and leans forward, slowly running his finger over my knuckles. I find myself locked in his stare, completely mesmerized by the ridiculously blue eyes looking at me. I hope I’m not drooling, because that’s the only thing my body can manage at this point.)

‘Let your plans be dark and impenetrable as night, and when you move, fall like a thunderbolt.’ Though, it is often an advantage to know your poetry. (He seems to turn the full force of his blue eyes on me as he takes my hand. He’s reciting—freaking RECITING, from memory—poetry to me, like he’s trying to woo me. WHO. DOES. THAT? Well…Tyran, that’s who.)
‘By night, Love, tie your heart to mine, and the two
Together in their sleep will defeat the darkness
Like a double drum in the forest, pounding
Against the thick wall of wet leaves.’

Me: (Was that double entendre? How am I supposed to take all this? Reluctantly, I take my hand back and try to keep my demeanor professional. Hopefully he doesn’t hear the slight tremor in my voice. Then again, he’s supposed to have better hearing than a Border Collie, so he probably knows. Lord, I hope he can’t read minds—I can’t remember now if that was one of his “special abilities” or otherwise.) That’s nice. Who is it by?

Tyran: Pablo Neruda (He’s looking at the hand I pulled from him, a slight frown on his face.)

Me: Do you think you’ll ever get married? Or that you’ll find someone with whom you could spend the rest of your immortal life? 
Tyran: (His head snaps up. Well…that got his attention.) I would never deprive myself of any experience.

Me: (I wasn’t expecting that. Very interesting…hmm…) Okay, Prin—I mean, Tyran. Final question. Does the thought of immortality ever scare you?
Tyran: (A leisurely grin spread across his face as he rakes his eyes up and down me. He’s taking in every inch, and I want to both hide behind my chair and lean forward to kiss him. My heartbeat is a little faster than normal.) Never. I like being able to take my time in all things.

Me: (I think I’ve just died and gone to Man—Vampire—Candy Heaven. It takes me a few seconds to recover from that last answer. Tyran is somehow in possession of my hand again, and I think he’s starting to ask me if I’ve ever gone to France—where he currently resides. I pretend to not hear his question and instead start to wrap up the interview.) I—well—thank you, Tyran, for the interview and for your time today. I’m sure my readers are very interested in knowing more about you.

Tyran: And what about you, Tamar? (He’s practically cooing, and my name sounds like a loaded question that’s already been answered for me, instead of the usual harshness of pronunciation by Starbucks baristas who royally screw up my name.)

Me: Oh, I enjoyed this interview very much as well. (I’m stammering now, so Tyran’s going to take over from this point.)

Tyran: Good. We can discuss more over dinner.


Well…guess I have a dinner date with Tyran. Though, I don’t think he really eats, but maybe he’ll have a glass of wine. 😉

In the meantime, to close out this interview, I have a profile for Tyran below. Enjoy the eye candy, and leave a comment—or a question you might have for Tyran—if you’d like. Below the picture/profile are links to Robin’s Watcher Series Pinterest boards. Make sure you check those out—they’re super fun. 🙂

PINTEREST BOARDS FOR THE WATCHER SERIES

The Watcher Series

Who Would You Cast? The Watcher Series

Author Interview: Robin Woods

I have a special guest on my blog today. She’s no stranger here, but it’s been a while since I’ve hosted her. Please give a warm welcome to novelist, Robin Woods, author of The Watcher Series. She’s sharing about her latest projects, giving some author/writer tips, and letting us know a bit more about her life. Enjoy!

IMG_7812About Robin:

     Young adult fiction writer, Robin Woods, was born and raised in San Jose, CA where she earned a BA in English and a MA in Education from local universities. In addition to writing, Robin has been teaching high school English for close to two decades, and also works as a college professor. Her love of working with teenagers and her love of books inspired her to begin writing in the teen genre.
     Robin’s love affair with vampire lore began at age eight when she was mesmerized by Bram Stoker’s Dracula. She took advantage of her summers off and traveled all over Europe; she even managed to find herself in one of Vlad Dracul’s castles in Romania. She escaped unharmed.
     When she is not torturing her high school English students or chasing her two small children around, she is sitting in a local coffee shop wondering how vampires like their lattes.

 Q & A

What genre do you consider your books?  The series starts out as Young Adult (YA), but gradually becomes New Adult (NA) as the books progress. Though, I have never listed my novels as NA because there is an expectation that there will be graphic/explicit sex scenes. My novels get dark and definitely have some sizzle, but I keep to the YA “rules.”

What is your work schedule like when you’re writing? Chaos!! I work about 50-60 hours a week, at minimum, as an English teacher/college professor and have two children (ages 5 & 8). So my writing schedule is fairly erratic. I do write (almost) every day, though. Sometimes it is only a paragraph or two, but it is important to look at my manuscript each day to keep my head in the story. I am usually having conversations with my characters as I drift off to sleep each night.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk? I need coffee in my hand and music in my ears.

What are your current projects?  I am finishing up The Fallen: Part Two and will begin writing a couple of novellas for a Hollywood producer as soon as I am done. I have been tasked to write stories with the intention that they will be turned into a script. One of them is a fairytale reboot or origin story. That is all that I am allowed to say, but I am excited.

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your first book, The Unintended? I would probably mix up the timeline in the first few chapters and cut some detail to help pick up the pacing. It is a little slow, but I did lay out the world fairly well for a first novel. I think there is a large jump in my writing between my first and second book. The second one, The Nexus, is much faster and sexier than the first.

What was the hardest part of writing your book? Writing the exposition between major scenes. I usually write key scenes and connect the dots later. Sometimes it is hard to force myself to write those interim scenes. It isn’t nearly as fun as writing something with a high emotional impact—be it action or romance.

Do you have any advice for other writers? 

1. Be consistent and write every day—guard that writing time!

2. Research and fact check, even if you are writing a fantasy novel. There is no excuse with the ease of Google.

3. Have your work professionally edited. Period. No arguments. The number one complaint about indie books is the lack of editing, and it is the top reason for being rejected by a large publisher.

4. It is never too early to start building a platform—brand yourself and not your book.

5. Read, read, read—no excuses.

I try to give back to the writing community and blog about the craft and have free resources on my website.

Do you write an outline before every book you write?  Maybe a little; I do almost everything in my head. I have a very organized brain. If you aren’t that way, I do not recommend it. Outlining is a great exploratory and organizational tool.

While you were writing, did you ever feel as if you were one of the characters? I think you have to put yourself in your character’s shoes for the writing to be authentic. I have been known to have tears in my eyes while killing off a character.

I know that you have done some other interviews recently. Do you have a favorite? Yes! I did an interview for The Hammock and want to give a shout out to Claudia Arroyo Valdez (@arroyoclau) for having me. This interview focused on music and writing. I got to show off my saucy side. 😉

THIS OR THAT

 Writing during the night or writing during the day? Night

Writing from home or someplace else? I’m just happy to find time to write!

Weather: Hot or Cold? Cold

Music or Silence? Music

Chocolate or Vanilla? Chocolate

The World being taken over by Zombies or Sexy Blood-sucking Vampires? Duh, vampires

eBook or Physical Copy? Hardback (but I usually have both going)

Time travel to the Future or Past? Past

Being able to Fly or become Invisible? Fly

Bookmark or Dog-eared? Post It

Pen or Pencil? Pen (I have a special affection for Sharpies)

Coffee or Tea? Both

Manicure or Pedicure? Pedi!

How can readers discover more about you and you work?

Website and Blog

Book Descriptions, Samples, and Links to US & UK
Facebook
Twitter
Pinterest
Amazon US Page
Goodreads

Robin’s books:

Allure Cover (Small)Unintended CoverTHE NEXUS (Book 2)THE SACRIFICE (Book 3)The Fallen Spine (Book 4)

Cover Reveal: Protostar by Braxton Cosby

Last week, I had Braxton Cosby on my blog for an interview. This week, he and I are sharing hosting responsibilities, and I am revealing the cover of his re-release, Protostar, while he’ll be revealing MY new cover for Spirit Lake (formally known as Feast Island). Needless to say, it’s going to be an exciting week on the blog!

Now, for a bit about Protostar—which, by the way, I had the privilege of editing in January: Protostar is a special, deluxe edition of the multi-award-winning first book of the series the Star-Crossed Trilogy. This re-release, according to Braxton, has better story-telling elements, and its followup, Supernova, is the “highly anticipated successor” of the series. Protostar is slated for release in April, and Supernova will be released sometime in May.

And, you guys, both books are AWESOME. Young Adult Sci/Fi Fantasy, with lots of twists and turns and surprises. I also had the privilege of editing Supernova and am very excited for its release this spring.

Protostar Synopsis:

What Would You Choose: love or duty?

As the Torrian Alliance continues its age-old mission of hunting down Star-children, King Gregorio Derry reluctantly agrees to send his only son, William, to planet Earth on a mission to bring honor back to the Royal Family name. The target: Sydney, a young teenage girl, unaware of her alien heritage. When an unforeseen accident delays the assassination, William begins to realize a connection forming with Sydney and struggles to follow through with his orders. With the fear of Civil War imminent back home, William must make the ultimate choice between his irrevocable duty and love, sacrificing everything he believes. But as a hidden menace emerges to secure a vested interest, and impossible odds begin to mount against them, William and Sydney wonder if a connection between two Star-Crossed lovers is enough to save them from destruction.

And now…the big reveal… *drum roll, please*

Protostar Cover

Ta-da! What do you think? I LOVE it! When we have an official release date, I’ll be sure to let you all know. 🙂

—> Also, don’t forget that today is the release of The Sect: The Windgate, which is Braxton’s first book. It was featured on this blog last week. Check out the post by clicking HERE if you missed it.

The Sect: The Windgate is the Award-Wining Book 1 of The School of Ministry Series, and is out now on eBook. The paperback is coming out April 21st.  Evan’s Heart, the novella and prequel to The Sect, is now available for free! Grab a copy NOW by clicking HERE!

9 300About Braxton: Braxton A. Cosby loves to share stories of hope, inspiration, and love that exemplify the joys and trials of life’s journeys. He is a multi-award-winning author who delves in a little bit of every genre from young adult fiction, health and non-fiction, to autobiographies. 

For a full bio, click HERE to visit his about page on his website.

***

On Thursday, I’ll be revealing the cover for my book, Spirit Lake, which is the first novel in the Spirit Lake Series. But, tomorrow, I have a treat for you guys. Robin Woods is stopping by my blog for a special interview, and on Friday, I will be hosting an interview with one of her characters, who happens to be my favorite book boyfriend. 😉 Stay tuned for all the fun going on this week. There might even be another giveaway! Hooray!

I hope you all have a very lovely Tuesday. Here’s to reading and writing!

-T xoxoxo