Saturday, September 14, 2013

Hello Blog Tour + Giveaway

This will be the last blog tour I'm joining, for this month at least. It's been a crazy month but I'm looking forward to reading Addie Lynn Co's collection of short stories Hello when this is all over.

About the Book:
What if The One actually walks up to you and even says hello, would you greet back or turn your back unknowingly that you have actually met? Would you know when you’ve actually met?

Serendipity is a funny thing that brings a tinge of bittersweet bliss to anyone who is fortunate to experience it. Hello is a trilogy that explores how serendipitous life can sometimes be.

Definitely, Maybe is a story of how fate plays with two people as they meet each decade hoping that maybe this time around, they can finally be together.

Almost Mismatch tells how two people so right for each other be so wrong and no matter how much they try to suppress their feelings, true love will not stop at anything. What is meant to be will be.

Finally, Dinner Date portrays how two people’s search for love could take them to different places and people only to lead them back to where they started.

The world is just like a huge maze that no matter what direction one walks to, there will always be one final destination. There seems to be an invisible string that is handcuffed to two people on each end and unsuspectingly pulls these two people destined for each other back together no matter how long it takes.

You can purchase the book through any of the following links:

Ms Co was also in my #romanceclass, but I only knew a few details about her and this book. I knew she had written Hello before (and was writing something else for the class), so I wanted to ask her about some of the writing tips that she picked up from class that have helped her in writing next book. This was her reply, in her own words:

(Yes,) I wrote the book Hello before #romanceclass with Ms. Mina. It was really a lucky chance I was taking because as I was in the stage of editing it in preparation to self-publishing it, I stumbled upon the #romanceclass that Ms. Mina was offering for free so I didn’t hesitate and just joined the class since it is free and I have always been looking for someone who could mentor me.

I tried incorporating Ms. Mina’s lessons into Hello but something in my heart tells me that I want this book to come out to the world the way I would want it to be read and appreciated by the readers. I wanted to have the freedom to tell it the way I wanted to and not be limited by a formula. Sure, at first, I was a bit skeptical about it because I didn’t want my story to be too formulaic for fear that it might end up being too cliché. But it seems like the formula is what the people bite into so I gave it a try, slightly with Hello but mostly with the contemporary novella I finished in #romanceclass entitled Forget Me Not (formerly introduced by Ms. Mina as Second Time Around) which I might self-publish in the future if the first one would go well. I realized that the formula is not so bad after all as long as you give it a twist to make it your own.

Writing tips that I picked up from #romanceclass:

1. Work on a schedule and keep with it.

Or at least have someone set deadlines for you. This is the best way to keep you motivated and avoid procrastination. I’m really a procrastination queen and I tend to do other stuff and not focus on writing that I end up not finishing stories that I have started. But with the #romanceclass, Ms. Mina was there to constantly remind us of the fast approaching deadlines and just posts words of encouragement to keep us from giving up and leave our stories hanging.

2. Draft a working outline.

I used to write spontaneously meaning I just write whatever comes to mind as I write it. I don’t really plan on it. I just think of what to write scene per scene and hope that the beginning at ending would connect somehow as I finish it. But this is not really a good idea especially if you’re the type who wants everything to be in place and perfect. From my experience with Hello, I kept on editing and editing the manuscript because I felt like it was always lacking things or details of the story to make it more solid and connected as a whole. The editing never seems to end. I kept adding here and there which is very tiring and makes you doubtful of the perfection of your story in the reader’s eyes.

But working with an outline keeps the entirety of the book more solid and figured out even at the beginning of the project/ writing process. It would make you want to write, write, write to reach the ending that you have always pictured in your mind. The thought and continuity of the book would not go off track because you have got it all planned out. You just have to elaborate the scenes and have the characters act it all out for the readers’ imagination. Another good thing about outlines is that you’d be able to cut out the unnecessary scenes that seemed perfect to include before but just seemed blah now. You would not be wasting your time writing it and the readers’ time in reading it.

Now, I always have this outline or mini checklist of the scenes or details I would like to include and arrange it accordingly so that I won’t forget anything that I think should be included in my novella.

3. Keeping the romance while still being realistic and not sickly sweet.

I really think this is an important tip because it is hard to evoke the ‘kilig’ factor without making it ‘gasgas na’ which I really wouldn’t want my book to end up with. I guess keeping it simple is the key here. Ms. Mina advised me not to make it too complicated because the focus of the novella would steer away from the romance which is the point of the novella after all.

4. Letting go and being proud of what you have finally created.

Don’t dwell too much on trying to please everyone. Someone’s always bound not to like it no matter what. But what’s important is that you are satisfied with what you have created and proud to show it to the world.

There are a lot of steps to the first stage of self-publishing. The first would be finishing writing the first draft, then move on to editing it for grammatical/ technical errors while maybe dreaming of how the book cover design will be. Create it yourself or have someone create the art for you while you format the manuscript according to what is needed because from what I learned, Smashwords and Kindle formats are different with each other plus the format for having the book printed on paper. I definitely went crazy with all the different formatting requirements. And when you finally have the book in your hand or the formatted soft copy ready for upload to Smashwords or Amazon Kindle, there’s no going back now. You’ve come the long way now, all that’s left to do is go all the way.

Now that’s just the first half of the journey, the second half is marketing your book but that’s another story to tell. But what’s really important is to have your novella out there to the world. In no time, someone will discover it and take a chance on your novella.

What I’m really trying to say is don’t wait anymore and just let it out there for the people to read. The main goal to begin with really is for you to be able to tell your story. Getting the appreciation it deserves is just a bonus.

About the Author:
Addie grew up reading Sweet Valley High books and Nancy Drew mystery books. She finished a degree in Communication Arts and really wanted to pursue a career in filmmaking but due to high production costs of a film, she opted to tell her stories through her novels. Being the hopeless romantic that she was, she will stop at nothing to share her passion with everyone and hopes that she could infect others with it. She’s a daydreamer by day and an author by night.

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