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!
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!).
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
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!
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.
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.
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.
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 –
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:
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
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.