Afternoon my lovelies and happy Halloween! I’m so excited for today! Me and Hubby are about to carve our pumpkin and then are having pumpkin soup for lunch! I hope. you all have fun (safe) plans and don’t let the dreaded Covid get you down. Anyway on to today’s posts!
First up I am delighted to welcome Sarah Davis to Curled Up With A Good Book. She’s telling us all about the writing of Inside Voices, her debut novel, but first up – here’s all the info on the book. And don’t forget to enter the international giveaway at the end to win a $15 Amazon Giftcard!
book blurb & info
The mind is a strange beast…extraordinary, unpredictable, protective.
Penny Osborn’s mind is no exception. In High School, Penny witnessed a massacre and lost her father to the same killers. She had seen it unfold before it happened, in a premonition, but could not prevent it.
A college research project at the edge of the Arctic is her chance for a new beginning. Struggling with PTSD, Penny’s therapy includes running, dogs, and guitars. Yet her fresh start is plagued by new premonitions, dark and foreboding, that coincide with a rising number of murders in the community. Her visions are vague, offering little to identify the killer.
When confronted with an orphaned polar bear cub, Penny risks everything to save its life. The deepening mystery of the murdered women, coupled with the exhaustive duties of caring for the small cub, draw her closer to her friend, Noah, and further from her sister.
Fearful for the serial killer’s next target, Penny discovers where her physical abilities can help her.
Will letting go of the past lead to healing? And can she stop the murders?
Published by: darkstroke/crooked cat on 23 June 2020
Formats Available: Paperback and eBook. Available on Kindle Unlimited
author guest post
On the Writing
Everyone is unique. Different. And the same goes for how they write. I thought today I would share snapshots of how I put together my first novel.
Before we go any further, you should know that I do not write full-time. I am a wife, a mother, and a full-time veterinarian. I didn’t have a lot of free time to sit at my computer for hours, typing a story.
About six years ago, an idea settled into my head about a veterinarian mother and her twin daughters. The twins had a very close bond that included a mental link. And they face a devastating loss or tragic event. The father dies…and something else. How would those left behind cope? What would they do?
As the concept evolved, I shared it with close family and friends. Surprisingly, they encouraged me to write it down. My mom said the main character needed a love interest to make it more interesting. Sigh. Fine. But no kissing.
And so I wrote. I had the beginning, the end, and multiple scenes for the pages between. To support my writing, I conducted research. I watched movies strictly for research (wink wink), read fiction and nonfiction books and research papers, and watched YouTube videos. My research covered the status of arctic ice, care and feeding of polar bears, Inupiaq traditions, life on the tundra, bird migration patterns, twin telepathy, martial arts…the list continues.
During the six weeks I was off due to surgery, I wrote like a mad fool. It was unorganized and had silly thoughts or song lyrics mixed in. Wow. A big steaming pile of dog poo.
I needed organization, and so I purchased a program called Scrivener to help. It did. And I began to edit.
I was ready to have someone read it. I was so excited…I finished the first draft of my novel!! What an accomplishment, I thought. Surely the people I asked would provide excellent feedback. What I was looking for was whether they thought I should continue working on the story, i.e., was it a good idea to share?
Of the nine people who said, “YES!” to reading it, five finished. Honestly, I understand people are busy with life…and it probably wasn’t an easy read…so special kudos to those that read the entire manuscript. One asked me an important question.
“Sarah, is this a book you would read?” He knew my reading tastes, and no, it was not of the genre I would have read. “Well, why not?”
Another reader suggested three-book series (I had A LOT of material).
So, back to the drawing board. I had an unpaid editor who I disturbed and disrupted and who read so many drafts. Thanks, Mom!
I edited and pulled at my hair and edited some more before hiding it in a box for a few months.
In the meantime, I took free writing courses and watched free presentations on writing. There were several incredible writing aids I splurged on. So, I pulled it back out of the box and cut and edited
it and wrote and edited it.
Two years into my work, I felt I was ready to hire a professional editor. This person helped me polish my storyline, fix the more significant errors, and pushed me to fine-tune it.
More readers! Great feedback.
Feeling good about my work, I submitted to agents and publishing houses. Several responded along the lines of, “Thank you for your submission…we are not interested at this time. Best of Luck.” Most did not respond.
After several months, I pulled my story back out of storage and worked on the little things. Worked hard to make the first chapter memorable. Then I formatted it and ordered print copies. When the order arrived on my doorstep, I opened the box containing real books. That new book smell was something. I was so excited!
The local book club took it on for a read and discussion. The feedback for me was priceless.
I hired a proofreader and then submitted it solely to agents. And the story sat patiently while I waited. And waited without response. This was fine with me. I was ready to self-publish. But not quite yet.
A few more months went by, and I stumbled across a pitch competition that occurs quarterly on Twitter. #PitMad. I took the proffered free courses and pitched my attempts to catch the eye of an agent or publishing house. If nothing else, I felt it would help me hone my blurb.
Woohoo! My pitches caught a couple of eyes. THE ONE: Darkstroke Books.
The takeaway from this: It takes time to write a book. If working a full-time job, writing has to be snuck in before the family gets up for the day or after everyone has gone to bed, during lunchtime, while sitting at the doctor’s office, during long drives (when a passenger), and while waiting in the car for the kids to finish after school sports. My grandpa always said, “Sarah, if you need time to do something, then make the time.”
Whether it takes six months or six years, writing a book from start to finish might seem daunting, but so did driving a car or going off to college. There is no required pace.
Write on, fellow authors! Write on!
about the author
Sarah Davis is many things…wife, mother, veterinarian, writer. An avid reader, she enjoys stories that transport her into new and exciting lands. Having read more books than she could ever count, she has considered writing a novel for ages. It wasn’t until the idea for “Inside Voices” popped into her mind that she finally started pursuing that dream, with much encouragement from her family. She and her incredible husband share their remote home on the prairie with their three extraordinary children and one mostly human weimaraner.
Facebook Author page: https://www.facebook.com/sarahdavisdvm/
Facebook Personal page: https://www.facebook.com/sarahshoarse
Win a $15 Amazon Giftcard
*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome. Please enter using the link below. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over. Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data. I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.
follow the tour
Organised by: Rachel’s Random Resources
Thanks to Rachel for inviting me on to the tour, and to Sarah for her wonderful guest post.
Back soon my lovelies
Please note this post contains Amazon affiliate links. If you choose to purchase this book through these link, I will receive a small payment (at no additional cost to you). This is the only form of monetisation on my blog so every little helps and is appreciated.