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An Open Letter To My Book Boyfriends

Dear Book Boyfriends,

The other week I wrote a letter to Nancy Drew, the female character that influenced my life the most. I thought it fitting to also write a letter to the male character who influenced my life.

Except.

I couldn’t name any of you.

All my male book influencers just turned out to be book boyfriends. A shallow relationship that made my heart pump a little faster but left my soul untouched.

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photo found here

 

This included all of you–from Flynn Rider to Lewis from Meet the Robinsons to John in I Am Number Four to Jonas in The Giver to Kvothe. Don’t get me started on Ender’s Game. The kid is, like, 6? 8? I’m not convinced you’re that young, Ender.

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To The Hot Christian Camp Directors Who Inspired My Book

One of the most-often-questions asked a writer is “what’s your inspiration behind the book”? Most of the time we give a blank look. “Uh. I looked in the fridge. Put in a little bit of this. Little of that. Some leftovers here. And look! An omelette-book!”

At least. That’s how I feel 🙂

But When Planets Fall is one of the few projects I can actually trace an “origin” story to. I thought it’d be fun to share it. So let’s strap in our time machine and take an adventure back to Abby’s high school years.

Going into my freshmen year of high school, I attended summer camp at Hume Lake, a Christian camp in California near my home. There were water blobs, competition, one-piece bathing suits, and, oh yes, boys. The theme of this camp was Abby’s-not-in-junior-high anymore. Kidding (sort of).

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That’s me on the right in red.

Xenoviv. That was the theme. A mashup of Greek and Hebrew words to create the idea that this world is not our home.

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Promise I’m thinking of Jesus, not boys. *snicker*

The camp directors, besides being super-hot according to teen me, created a mini movie series about characters in an alien land, space suits, the works. I loved it. And not just ‘cause of the thick facial hair onscreen. That idea of Xenoviv stuck with me.

Abby, Chelsey, Kaitlyn, Lora

I’m on the far left

Fast forward seven years.

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Book Blitz & #Giveaway: The Retreat by @KellyStClare

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Happy Labor Day everyone!

I hope you are spending time with loved ones and taking a breather 🙂

Here’s another YA Sci-Fi I wanted to bring attention to. Like When Planets Fall, there’s aliens and betrayal. *giddy giggles* Also, look at that cover. I’d kill for eyelashes for that. There’s a Blitz-wide giveaway for a $50 Amazon giftcard and book swag. You can enter here. Don’t forget you can win another giftcard by signing up for my monthly newsletter!

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Earth is ruined. Humankind destroyed. And it’s old news.

Romy’s life is simple—for a genetically enhanced space soldier; pick up space junk with her four friends, and stave off the invaders fixated on stealing Planet Earth.

It isn’t much. But it’s temporary—only another 850 years to go, give or take.

When her crew tangles with a gulp-worthy alien mothership, Romy’s return to Earth is brought forwards at hurtling pace.

Strength comes from the unlikeliest of quarters.

As does leadership.

…As does betrayal.

Annnnnnd here’s some Q&A with Kelly!

1. What’s the weirdest thing you’ve googled?

Oh…so many things. Once I googled, ‘do lips turn blue before or after people die’. At the moment the top in my history is, ‘chicken with a ponytail’ and just under it is ‘Alexander Skaarsgard’.

2. What book are you reading now?

What is the whole world reading right now? Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. I just finished The Mortal Song by Megan Crewe.

3. How do you work with an editor without the pride thing getting in the way?

Firstly, for those who don’t fall under the category of artist, you have to realise that when you show people your craft – be it music, art, or a story – you are sharing a bit of your soul. To show it to an Editor, who will pick it apart is the ultimate friction against your natural instincts. For me it comes down to two things; Do you want your work to be the best it can be? (If you do, then pride gets knocked down the ladder). And how good is your relationship with your editor? I think a good editor knows how to deliver criticism concisely and constructively … M&Ms also help.

4. How do you balance the craft of writing with the business of writing?

I love marketing! My craft:business balance depends on where I am in the writing process. I am like a rabid dog during the first draft. During this time, I tend to only spend an hour marketing each day. On follow up drafts it is more like 5 hours writing to 3 hours marketing. When I’m gearing up for release it is more 2 hours writing and endless marketing. I try to operate via the mantra that releasing more books is the best marketing.

5. Do you write every single day?

Yes! Not necessarily fiction, however. If I’m not working on my latest manuscript, then it is normally on blogs. Sometimes it is on things like my blurb, a synopsis, a fun unrelated thing, and I also write reviews for YA Books Central.

6. Ballpoint, uniball, or fountain tip pen?

Is fountain tip like a quill? That one.

7. Can you tell us about your upcoming book?

Sure! The Retreat is the first novel in my new series, The After Trilogy. The story follows an
early twenties genetically enhanced space soldier named Romy – don’t call her Rosemary,
you’ll make her mad. The story is set in a future where Earth has been desolated by Global

Warming. Now the last slice of humankind exists in space, protecting Earth—turns out some unfriendly visitors rather like the look of this new Earth—and waiting until they can return to solid ground.

During a battle Romy’s ship is shot down and she crash-lands on this supposedly unliveable Earth … let’s just say she doesn’t find what she expects.

8. Do you write more by logic or intuition, or some combination of the two? Summarize your writing process.

I do a massive brainstorm where all my initial ideas explode. This usually spans several
pages and builds and develops as I go. From there I do a chapter by chapter outline. I
know, when I do this, that there is no way I’ll stick to it, in terms of storyline. But it helps me to see the overall story, and make sure the structure is sound. For The Retreat I did heaps of research, contacted astrophysicists and environmentalists and other clued uppeople. I don’t have a logical bone in my body, but I would say my novels are 25% planner, and 75% intuition.

9. What do you like to read in your free time?

I review 3-4 books a month for YA Books Central—and find some great new Authors via that. Like every reader, I search for that magical story that sweeps me off my feet. #bestfeelingever. I read in any genre (but mostly fantasy and science fiction).

10. Picture your favourite writing space. What are five objects you would find there?

Ooo, okay! Uhm…a steaming and rather large cup of tea, a vanilla candle, printed cards with reviews from my readers to motivate me, inspiration pictures for whatever story I’m
writing hung up behind my computer, and of course Alfie the Writer’s Rabbit (probably
chewing on an essential cord, or three).

11. If you could ask one author one question, what would the question be and who would you ask?

I would ask JK Rowling who made her angry enough to kill Dobby.

12. What brought you to write this book?

Excitement to pull the piece of string and see what it’s attached to.

13. What’s next for you?

Soooo many stories. The fourth novel in The Tainted Accords releases October 10th. Then I’m writing a couple of Tainted Accords novellas…and then the sequel to The Retreat. I
aim to have some semblance of a life in there, too.

14. Do you have any strange writing habits (like standing on your head or writing in the
shower)?

Haha, maaaaybe. When I first plan out a story I need, like, the most majestic notebook I can find, and a life-changing pen. And during first draft I lose roughly 98% of my marbles. This month I have put mixed berries in my tea instead of a smoothie, and I got into the shower with my underwear and socks still on. It’s hard to be in two or three worlds at once. . .

15. Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers?

Writing isn’t something where you reach a certain level and know you’re a good Author. You know you’re an author when you keep going no matter what.

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