Meet YA Author – Mindy McGinnis

Today on Paws 4 Thought we welcome Mindy McGinnis, eclectic YA author and kitty-lover!

Hi Mindy, so happy to have you here today. Tell us a little bit about yourself:

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I write across multiple genres – everything from post-apocalyptic survival to fantasy to contemporary and mystery. I have lived in Ohio my whole life and absolutely love it here.

So when did you first start writing?

I wrote when I was a child, experimentally. I never finished a novel until I was in my mid-20s.

Who are your favorite authors?

I grew up reading Stephen King. Some of my more recent favorites would be Frances Hardinge and McKenzie Lee.

What inspires you to write? 

I’m fortunate in that ideas just seem to fall out of the sky. They can occur out of nowhere, and I don’t question that.

Which is favorite title you have published so far and why?

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Probably my fantasy titles, GIVEN TO THE SEA and GIVEN TO THE EARTH. Fantasy is by far the hardest genre I’ve ever tackled. The world building is key, and I found that executing that took every ounce of talent I have.

If you could hang out with one of your characters who would you choose and where would the two of you go?

Probably Lynn from NOT A DROP TO DRINK and we would just hang out in the woods.

Drink  Dust

What are you currently working on?

I’m in between books, having just turned in the copyedits for my Winter 2019 release, HEROINE.

What do you like to do to relax?

It’s so rare for me to get to do so, but… reading.

Tell us about your kitties? I hear you have quite a few?

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I have NINE cats, if you can believe that. I had the normal amount of cats (four) until one of the farm kitties abandoned a litter and I ended up bottle raising a group of five. You can’t do that and then “find a good home.” So yeah… now I have nine cats.

Kitties  Kitty2

How can readers connect with you?

The easiest way to find me is to check out all my social media on my site:

 http://mindymcginnis.com/books.html

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YA Scavenger Hunt

 

Looking for Blogging from A to Z? For the next few days while this blog hosts YASH my A to Z posts will be over at my sister site, Paws 4 Puzzles.

 

Welcome to YA Scavenger Hunt! This bi-annual event was first organized by author Colleen Houck as a way to give readers a chance to gain access to exclusive bonus material from their favorite authors…and a chance to win some awesome prizes! At this hunt, you not only get access to exclusive content from each author, you also get a clue for the hunt. Add up the clues, and you can enter for our prize–one lucky winner will receive one book from each author on the hunt in my team! But play fast: this contest (and all the exclusive bonus material) will only be online for 72 hours!

Team Purple

Go to the YA Scavenger Hunt page to find out all about the hunt. There are SIX contests going on simultaneously, and you can enter one or all! I am a part of the PURPLE TEAM–but there is also a red team, a gold team, an orange team, a red team, and an indie team for a chance to win a whole different set of books!

If you’d like to find out more about the hunt, see links to all the authors participating, and see the full list of prizes up for grabs, go to the YA Scavenger Hunt page.

SCAVENGER HUNT PUZZLE
 
Directions: Below, you’ll notice that I’ve listed my favorite number. Collect the favorite numbers of all the authors on the PURPLE TEAM, and then add them up (don’t worry, you can use a calculator!).
 
Entry Form: Once you’ve added up all the numbers, make sure you fill out the form here to officially qualify for the grand prize. Only entries that have the correct number will qualify.
Rules: Open internationally, anyone below the age of 18 should have a parent or guardian’s permission to enter. To be eligible for the grand prize, you must submit the completed entry form by Sunday April, 8, at noon Pacific Time. Entries sent without the correct number or without contact information will not be considered.
SCAVENGER HUNT POST
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Today, I am hosting HEATHER DAVIS on my website for the YA Scavenger Hunt! Heather Davis is the author of Never Cry Werewolf and its two novella sequels, Sometimes by Moonlight and Always in Shadow. Her other books include Wherever You Go, and The Clearing, a RITA Award finalist for Best Young Adult Romance.

Heather loves writing about strong, smart heroines and the dark heroes that challenge them. In every book you’ll find suspense, a touch of humor, and tons of heartfelt romance.

She is obsessed with good coffee, books, indie bands, and perfect chocolate chip cookies.

Visit her at www.heatherdavisbooks.com

 
Find out more information by checking out the author website or find more about the author’s book here!
EXCLUSIVE CONTENT
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Secrets don’t stay buried forever.

When ravens lead werewolf Lily Turner to the site of Pioneer Falls most famous unsolved murder, she’s drawn into a vintage mystery, complete with a restless ghost. Freeing the trapped soul who’s causing trouble might be the only way for Lily to stop the outsiders digging into the recent paranormal activity in town––and protect the local packs.

Morgan McAllister, the handsome wolf who’s captured Lily’s heart, resolves to do what he can to keep Lily safe as she begins another quest for the truth. But Lily’s father seems reluctant to accept Morgan as one of the Turner pack. Despite Morgan’s attempts he hasn’t been able to win her pack leader over, but his love for Lily is growing.

Determined to dig into the old case, Lily’s sure that if the ghost can rest in peace, so will the town. But there are evil forces at work, including the rival werewolf pack deepening their roots and hunters regrouping for more violent attacks on suspected wolves endangering the town.

Trusting outsiders may be the only way for Lily to get to the truth. But trust comes with a deadly cost, one that Lily may not be prepared to pay.

As the past rises with a vengeance, Lily must face her greatest test in the dark woods where evil once triumphed. Before the moon rises again, a death must be avenged, and not everyone in Pioneer Falls will make it out alive.

Join Lily and Morgan for another romantic, suspense-filled adventure in the dark forests of the Pacific Northwest. Book Three in the Pioneer Falls series.

Now here’s Heather who talks about how she created her Pioneer Falls series:

 

 A Light So Cruel – Behind the Scenes of a Series

By Heather Davis

Many YA readers dream of writing books of their own. I know, because that was me once upon a time. It can be daunting just to think of how to begin, so I thought I’d give you a behind the scenes look at how I created my Pioneer Falls series, which includes the latest release, A Light So Cruel.

In the writing world, you often hear about structured “plotters” who do a lot of planning before they write, versus people who write by the seat of their pants, the “pantsers.” Neither side is better or worse, just different. I tend to be a little of both, but when I’m writing a series, I favor my plotter side.

Why? Well, there’s a ton of planning that goes into a series. I want both the character and plot arc of each book to be satisfying, as well as the overall series arc.

So how do you even figure out what a series arc might be?

For me, I journal about the concept and characters. What is the main character’s journey going to be about? In the case of Pioneer Falls, I thought about what I wanted Lily to learn in the course of the series. She’s an average girl who learns her father’s been hiding a terrible curse from the family. After an initial shock, she undergoes a physical and emotional transformation.

I realized I could split out her evolution into three books.

Book One was going to be about the discovery of her family’s curse and the existence of the supernatural world. Book Two would be about learning the rules of her world, the friends and foes. Book Three, A Light So Cruel, would be about Lily connecting to the supernatural world. And of course, all three books have mystery elements, which I would work in.

Sounds like a lot of stuff to keep track of, right? It was.

So, for each book, I plotted out the story on notecards tacked to a cork board. It’s a little labor-intensive, but worth it when you’re writing a lot of mystery or action. On the cards, I charted out the plot points (where fresh information causes the story to turn in new directions) and important character growth moments.

Here’s a section of the board for A Light So Cruel.

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I know you’re thinking that so much planning stifles creativity, but it’s the exact opposite for me. It frees me to be more creative. I understand what needs to happen in the scenes, but not necessarily how it’s going to happen. That equals less pressure and stress.

And the best part is I don’t have to stick to the notecards, or the exact plot as I’ve planned it. I can change the order or write new cards if I need to. But having a sense of direction, of knowing where the story’s headed, gives me focus.

Two other things are helpful when I’m writing a series.

A  style guide that lists and describes all the people, places, important terms of the story. How many times did I mix up what color eyes Lily’s sisters have? None. All I had to do was refer to the style guide for confirmation.

A physical map of the story world. I invented a whole town for this series. It only exists in my mind and the reader’s. So Lily’s house, the cemetery, the nearby river, the coffee shop where she works after school––all of these were important to get geographically right. The characters are moving through this world in all three books. You have to have continuity.

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So all of this is planning is great, but you might be thinking–– how do I know if I’ve got enough of a story to start writing a book?

Well, that’s where the pantser in me shines.

For all of my books, I started by free-writing an opening scene. A what if… beginning. Then I set it aside, let things marinate a bit. Meanwhile I’m collecting more bits and pieces of ideas for the story.

A little while later, I pick the opening back up and do another free writing session. Then another. Once I’ve got a full chapter’s worth of scenes, I’ll have the feeling if this is a project to continue or if I should move along to another “what if?” hanging out in my head.

Anyhow, I wish you happy reading AND writing, if that’s your dream. All you need is an idea to get started… cork board totally optional.

Thank you Heather – and be sure to check out A Light So Cruel on Amazon.
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And now onto the contest for a chance to win a ton of books by me, Debbie Manber Kupfer, and more! To enter, you need to know that my favorite number is. Well for those of you who regularly follow this blog you might know that my all-time favorite author is Douglas Adams, so my favorite number is of course the meaning of life, the universe and everything –

42

Add up all the favorite numbers of the authors on the PURPLE TEAM and you’ll have all the secret code to enter for the grand prize!

But wait there’s more! I’m also running a Rafflecopter. Enter for a chance to win a bundle of YA audio books from a host of awesome authors. These include:

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I’m also giving away one ebook box set of P.A.W.S. books 1 to 3. Enter the Rafflecopter for a chance to win.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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CONTINUE THE HUNT
 
To keep going on your quest for the hunt, you need to check out the next author! JOSHUA DAVID BELLIN
Note: some authors will offer an additional, individual giveaway. If you want to do this, please feel free to do so.
 

purple team 2018

 
 

Londinium is here!

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It’s alive – Londinium (P.A.W.S. 4) is finally out in the wild!

This is a book of the heart for me. As many of you know I come from London and even though I no longer live there I still adore the city and visit every chance I get. LONDINIUM is peppered with my favorite places, Camden Town, the zoo and London’s beautiful parks. Miri gets to traverse the tube and ride on the buses. I hope you enjoy enjoy my story as much as I enjoyed writing.

As always I love to hear from readers and reviews of all my books are always welcome.

So here are the links to Londinium available everywhere in Kindle and paperback and FREE on Kindle Unlimited:

Amazon US    Amazon UK      Amazon DE  Amazon FR    Amazon ES    Amazon IT  

Amazon NL    Amazon JP      Amazon BR    Amazon CA    Amazon MX    Amazon AU  

Amazon IN

“The pea soup has spoken,” said Caradog. “You are destined for Londinium.”
“Londinium?” asked Miri.
“It was the ancient city from which London sprang. The P.A.W.S. Institute of Londinium is the oldest in the world. It started before the city of today existed and straddles the old and the new. Unfortunately, today it is run by a fool.”

Join Miri as she continues her journey through Umbrae and Londinium with the help of werecats, wild warlocks, an old dog, a duck, and a whole lot of pea soup.

The P.A.W.S. Saga continues with Londinium.

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But wait there’s more – do you need to catch up on the rest of the P.A.W.S. Saga? Well I’ve got you covered. For the next week you can pick up the box set of books 1 to 3 for just 4.99 (that’s 50% off the usual price)

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Want to party – join the FB celebration LONDINIUM IS HERE going on right now with a host of awesome guests, games and prizes.

 

 

Why I Write Young Adult by L.J. Launer

 

Today on Paws 4 Thought I present a guest post by a local St. Louis author L.J. Launer. He talks about his love for young adult literature and why he writes it.

 

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People often ask me why I write young adult fiction. I read many books in a variety of genres. Some of my favorite reads have included Jonathan Franzen’s The Twenty-Seventh City (which is set in my hometown of St. Louis), mysteries by Dee Henderson, Sara Paretsky’s V.I. Warshawski series, and many Gregory MacDonald’s Fletch mysteries. But always I return to young adult literature…YA has something intriguing that draws me to the genre.

I think part of it is that the characters are just taking their first steps into the adult world. They are discovering its challenges. Do they join the rat race? Or do they try to make the world a better place to live in?

But why high school, you ask? I answer, why not high school? Most young adults who are in high school today are both interesting and intelligent. They even fool many adults. But don’t make all YA characters totally anti-establishment. Because that isn’t real. It isn’t that way even if you are writing YA science fiction, fantasy, post-apocalyptic, or the “superhero” literature that has started to take hold in recent years.

My first inspiration with young adult came when I was in the middle of plotting my first novel, but not my first published novel. It was 1986 and I was creating a chapter outline for a novel that is still a work-in-progress. In March of that year, I went to the movies with a friend of mine. We saw a movie called LUCAS, which was set mainly in a high school and the characters were primarily high school students with a few adults along the way. It was essentially a young adult movie. It inspired me to refocus the novel I was working on into a young adult novel.

It took me 29 years to publish my first novel, Rurals and Townies. Many of my writer friends over the years told me I was beating a dead horse. But I stuck to it and today, that one novel has become my Blanchette High School series.

In order to do any writing and be good at it, you have read. Read everything from the classics, like Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn or the works of F. Scott Fitzgerald. Read contemporaries such as John Green, who is the current superstar of YA. Also check out another great YA writer, Tom Tharp, who wrote The Spectacular Now.

Several of my friends have published YA. And what amazes me is how many adults read popular YA series like The Hunger Games and Divergent.

Young adult is alive and well. I appreciate the genre and I continue to enjoy writing it.

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Check out L.J. Launer’s novels on Amazon.

 

Meet P.D. Workman

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Hello everybody today on Paws4Thought I welcome YA author P.D. Workman. P.D. is a prolific writer and her name title, Chloe is releasing this month.

  1. Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I write riveting young adult/suspense fiction about mental illness, addiction, abuse, and other tough subjects. I am a wife, a mother of one, born and raised in Alberta, Canada. I love to read books in all formats and am a technology geek with a love for all kinds of gadgets and tools. For as long as I can remember, the blank page has held an incredible allure, leading me to write my first complete novel at the age of twelve. I kept writing, but did not start publishing until three years ago. With Chloe, I have now published 23 titles.

  1. When did you first start writing?

I have little construction paper books that my mother kept from when I was very young. Even before I could draw or write, I was making scribbles and stapling them together into books. I guess it was inevitable!

  1. Who are your favorite authors?

I have so many of them! S.E. Hinton, J.R.R. Tolkien, L.M. Montgomery, Jay Bennett, Kristen D. Randle…

  1. Tell us a bit about Chloe and the Between the Cracks series.

The Between the Cracks series begins with the award-winning book Ruby, Between the Cracks. Ruby is a tough-as-nails street kid, doing whatever she has to to survive and proud of her independence. She blocked out a lot of her past history rather than dealing with it. Ruby is a hard-hitting, conflict-filled journey of discovery as Ruby is forced to face her past and decide what she really wants out of life.

The other books in the series follow other members of Ruby’s family as each of them strives to overcome their toxic histories in order to survive and move on in their lives.

Chloe is book four of the series, and is my favorite. In books 1-3, the reader has only seen Chloe from the perspectives of her siblings—the polar opposite of Ruby, June and Justin’s bossy big sister, the only one of the children who stayed by their mother’s side through everything. Now it’s time to hear Chloe’s story. Take a deep breath and buckle your seat belts, because it’s going to be a tough ride.

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Pick up your copy of Chloe to meet this handsome fellow!

  1. What attracts you to writing young adult literature?

The genre sort of picked me. Because I started writing so young, the young adult genre was a natural fit for me to begin with. And while I’ve written non-young-adult books as well, I never really grew out of YA and it is still my preferred genre. I still see, as I did when I was a teen, so much unfairness and heartbreak in this age group. I want to reach out to those who are hurting, and this is my way of doing it.

  1. Your books deal with some tough subjects how do you prepare yourself mentally for writing?

It can be hard, especially with a story like Chloe’s. My heart breaks for everything that she is going through, but I have to write my truth. Because it is happening to kids all over the world. It isn’t just something I have made up, but an attempt to capture their stories and the pain and struggle of their lives. I need to take breaks, and I need to make an effort to pull myself out of the story to deal with my own family and life.

  1. Do you have a favorite character you have written?

I love all my kids. J

Chloe is amazing because she is so strong after everything she goes through. She doesn’t see herself that way, but she is something special. She also gains a special friend along the way, one who understands better than anyone else could what she has gone through. But I don’t want to give any spoilers!

  1. What was your favorite book you read this year?

Tough call! I usually prefer fiction, but I think I’m going to have to go with I am Malala, by Malala Yousafzai. There is one strong young lady!

(That one’s on my TBR list too – DMK)

  1. If you could choose a superpower what would you choose?

I think it would have to be super speed. I am always trying to squeeze so much into my day!

  1. So what’s next? What are you currently working on?

I just put out a new series of YA thrillers called  ThMedical Kidnap Files, and I’ve been working on a sequel to Tattooed Teardrops and some private eye stuff. I’m kicking off the New Year writing a cozy mystery series. So, something a little lighter, but you can bet that I will still work my passions into the story!

(I admire how prolific you are J – DMK)

  1. How can readers and parents connect with you?

You can find me at http://pdworkman.com and on most social media platforms as pdworkmanauthor. I love to hear from readers and can also be reached directly at pdworkman.author@gmail.com

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Check out P.D. Workman’s books on Amazon!