New book out now with Essential Resources for years 4-8!
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My U.S publisher, Month9books, is doing a Goodreads giveaway (print copies) of some of their books including my own MINOTAUR and ARGOS. Starting Saturday 16th August. Available only to those in the U.S I'm afraid.
‘Tis the eve of the release of my latest YA novel, ARGOS. Well, it’s May 10th but pretty close.
That came around fast. It seems like only yesterday when MINOTAUR was released. It was. Kind of. September, 2015. To have my second novel out with Month9books so quickly has been a bit surreal, mostly because of the punishing editing schedule.
ARGOS was originally due to be released much later but due to a certain other book being released by a certain other publisher in May, my publisher decided to bump my release date. This has meant a very quick turnaround in terms of re-writes and edits. Some of these edits have been extremely comprehensive. But at last I can breathe.
Sort of. I’ve just completed 16 blog posts for the ARGOS blog tour. This means 16 separate blogs about a range of topics relating to ARGOS. I’ve managed to fit those in during those grey, half conscious periods that inhabit the spaces between sleep and work.
I’m excited about ARGOS. It’s probably my favorite novel to date, mostly because it has been a labor of love. It’s the book I’ve always wanted to write so I hope my readers love it just as much as me.
I also graduate with my Masters in Creative Writing (1st class honours) tomorrow. That’s kinda neat, regardless of the fact that I’m not going. I’m not going because I have to work. That and I’ve already graduated once with a Masters and the gown is exactly the same as the last one I wore. Can’t really justify it, even though I want to.
My son has his first school visit next week. That’s exciting! (He says, biting his nails down to the quick). Hope he likes it as much as I do. Did. You know what I mean. It’s going to be a bit odd him going to school with me. I’ll have to juggle my Daddy and Teacher hats. His classroom is actually just opposite mine.
I took young Jack to see Zootopia. Cool. And clever. Cool and clever. It’s always a pleasure to watch an animated movie that has enough meat and humor to keep an adult entertained. That’s clever film making, that is.
I still haven’t seen Batman vs Superman. I want to see it, even though the reviews have been terrible. Reviewers don’t know everything (do you see what I’m doing here?). I haven’t even seen Deadpool even though the movie was basically written for me.
The new season of GoT has started and I’m enjoying it just as much as I anticipated. Good times. I’ve also got Silicon Valley and the new season of Inside Amy Schumer to look forward to. Suddenly, my world of TV watching, limited of late, has opened up to a surplus of entertainment. I’m not complaining.
I’ve just finished my ninth novel, EARTHBORN. EARTHBORN is the sequel to the novel I wrote for my Masters last year (TITAN). TITAN is with my agent and EARTHBORN needs a vigorous kicking to get it into shape. And I will get it into shape, regardless of how EARTHBORN feels about the process. It’s just going to have to suck it up and endure the punishment.
But after that, I’m taking a break from novel writing for the rest of the year. My son will be home for the holidays now and I want to spend more time with him. Usually, I write in the holidays. But I deserve a break. I feel sucked dry of inspiration and motivation. I need some time to recharge and regroup, to come up with ideas, to reinvigorate. I find ideas usually come when I am most relaxed.
So, here’s to the release of ARGOS. Go free, my little creation. They say that if you love something, you should set it free. So that’s what I’m doing. Off you go into the world my little booky wook. Enjoy your new-found freedom. Embrace your readers. Love them and they will love you back.
Be all that you can be.
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 eight contests going on simultaneously, and you can enter one or all! I am a part of the PINK TEAM--but there is also a red team, an orange team, a gold team, a green team, a teal team, a blue team, a purple team, and a pink 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 hidden my favorite number. Collect the favorite numbers of all the authors on the PINK 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 3RD, 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 ANGELA MYRON on my website for the YA Scavenger Hunt! ANGELA MYRON was born in Vancouver, Canada in 1973 and grew up just outside a small town in Southern British Columbia. Her love for children's fantasy stems from reading CS Lewis, Tolkien, George MacDonald, JK Rowling, Terry Brooks, Neil Gaiman, and many, many more wonderful authors.
She lives in Los Angeles, California, with her husband and their twins. Visit Angela's website at angelamyron.com or contact her at email@example.com.
Find out more information by checking out the author website or find more about the author's book below!
You can find out more about ANGELA MYRON here
Check out her book ENNARA AND THE BOOK OF SHADOWS HERE
Scroll down to the end of this post!
And don't forget to enter the contest for a chance to win a ton of signed books by me, Phillip W. Simpson, and more! To enter, you need to know that my favorite number is. (It's 7).
Add up all the favorite numbers of the authors on the PINK TEAM and you'll have all the secret code to enter for the grand prize!
CONTINUE THE HUNT
To keep going on your quest for the hunt, you need to check out the next author!
JESSICA L. BROOKS
I have been remiss in my blogging efforts.
I know. Naughty.
In an effort to make good, I shall look back on the events of the last year or so. My school year is about to start so now is probably a good time to reflect.
2015 was a great year in many respects. Thanks to the Ministry of Education, I received study leave to complete my Masters in Creative Writing (MCW). It was a wonderful year where I could concentrate on my writing practice without having to juggle my teaching hat with my writing one. All very positive. I learnt a lot from Paula Morris as well as the other eleven students on the course. I’m a better writer and better able to teach writing as a result.
I had shoulder surgery where my tendon was reattached to the bone with three pins. Boxing will do that to you when you are in your mid 40’s. Recovery was slow and tedious and the inability to exercise frustrating. But I’m much better now and back on the exercise horse
Around home, we did some building work which did not go smoothly. But that’s over now and the less said, the better.
Minotaur, my first book with U.S publisher, Month9books, was released in September and has been getting (thankfully so far) favourable reviews.
Thanks to funding from the University of Auckland and Month9books, I was able to travel to Boston for the ALA midwinter conference. I was there to promote and sign copies of Minotaur. That was an amazing experience where I met some fantastic people including Jeff and Cynthia (from my distributors, IPG). I met some awesome librarians (hi Hope and Jennifer!). The conference was a blast. Certainly the biggest one I had ever been to before. And I loved Boston. I would jump at any opportunity to return. I was there for only 4 days. Interesting fact: I think I spent more time in an airplane or at an airport than I actually did in Boston.
My next book, Argos, got picked up by my publisher, Month9books, for an August 2016 release. I should receive editing any day now. I’ve also had some interest from movie studios about a few of my works.
The book I completed for my MCW, Titan, is with my agent. I’m three quarters into the sequel, Earthborn.
I wrote several pieces for magazines and educational publishers. One of those was an article for the Education gazette about my experiences in Boston. I wrote a whole book for Essential resources on narrative fiction writing.
My UK based artist collaborator, Mat Dawson and I completed our picture book, Over the Rainbow Bridge. We’ve also done the first 9 pages of the Rapture Graphic novel. We’re hoping to get these projects out there at some point this year.
So, by and large, a good year.
I’m looking forward to 2016 as well. I have a brand new class and new level which is always exciting. I’ve been setting up my class for the last week and a half. Just have to finish my paperwork now. School starts next week and both the teachers and the students get to ease into the year with only three days in the first week.
I took my son to see Star Wars. I loved it. He got scared but I still think he loved it. Despite my love of the movie, there were elements I found disturbing (not my lack of faith). [spoiler alert]. Another deathstar? Really. Come on. And there were an awful lot of convenient plot devices. But that's me. I'm picky.
Speaking of Jack, he starts school in 4 months and will be just across the courtyard from me. This will present other challenges as he will no longer be in daycare in the holidays (which is my writing time).
I feel refreshed after my sabbatical. Unfortunately, we are planning on doing some more building work which always makes me feel a little frayed around the edges.
I just hope it goes better this time around.
Yes, it's true! Thanks to funding from the University of Auckland (School of Humanities Research Fund), I'm off to Boston to attend the American Library Association (ALA) midwinter conference in January. Find out more about the ALA midwinter conference here.
My publisher, Month9books, has invited me. Up to 10,000 librarians from around the States (and the world) will be there. The young adult fiction I write has applications in the classroom. My publisher wants to get me in front of these librarians (either on panels or as a guest speaker) to discuss 'Fictionalising mythology for YA audiences'. I'm also extremely interested in discussing the 'Evolution of monsters in mythology and fiction' (a possible PhD topic).
This has all come about from enrolling in the MCW (Masters in Creative Writing). The course has not only made me a better writer, but it has created opportunities. The University wrote a press release about me and my work. On the back of that, the NZ film commission has been in contact with the goal of introducing me to leading New Zealand producers/production companies to option my work for screen adaptation and to explore the prospect of developing new projects for screen. To say that I am excited is an understatement but I need to be cool. A Hollywood studio approached me about Rapture a couple of years ago but nothing came of it -- so I don't want to get my hopes up. I also have some more exciting news but I'm not allowed to say yet.
Admittedly, these opportunities haven't just fallen in my lap. I'm doing the course in the first place because I was successful in applying for a sabbatical from the Ministry of Education. My lecturer, Dr. Paula Morris told me that she gets occasional comments like she is 'lucky' getting residencies to exotic locations or funding to research or write a book. There's no such thing as luck. You work hard and you apply for things.
I applied to the NZ book council for this and they knocked me back. Creative NZ doesn't cover international travel to conferences (even to promote NZ fiction on a worldwide stage). I felt despondent and a little depressed by this response. But then this opportunity came up, I applied and the University of Auckland said yes. I'm impressed by how progressive and supportive they are. It's a great opportunity and I would particularly like to acknowledge Dr. Paula Morris, Associate Professor Malcolm Campbell and Professor Tony Spalinger.
More for me to keep track of things (I really have very little idea of what's going on here), here is the official blog tour for Minotaur
presented by Month9Books
and hosted by Chapter by Chapter!
This Review Tour will run from Sept. 28-Oct 11, 2015.
Sept 28, 2015 Books and Ladders – Guest Post
Sept 28, 2015 Bitches n Prose – Spotlight/Promo
Sept 28, 2015 Ogitchida Kwe’s Book Blog – Spotlight/Promo
Sept 29, 2015 Coffee Books & Art – Spotlight/Promo
Sept 29, 2015 Kelly P’s Blog – Spotlight/Promo
Sept 30, 2015 On Writing and Riding – Spotlight/Promo
Sept 30, 2015 Mama Reads Hazel Sleeps – Guest Post
Sept 30, 2015 Illuminite Caliginosus – Spotlight/Promo
Oct 1, 2015 Crystal’s Chaotic Confessions – Spotlight/Promo
Oct 2, 2015 BooksChatter – Interview
Oct 2, 2015 Literary Obsessions – Guest Post
Oct 5, 2015 The Avid Book Collector – Spotlight/Promo
Oct 5, 2015 The Page Unbound – Spotlight/Promo
Oct 5, 2015 Mommabears Book Blog – Guest Post
Oct 6, 2015 Don’t Judge, Read – Interview
Oct 6, 2015 Lisa T. Cresswell – Guest Post
Oct 6, 2015 WS Momma Readers Nook – Spotlight/Promo
Oct 7, 2015 Seraphina Reads – Guest Post
Oct 7, 2015 A Fold in the Spine – Spotlight/Promo
Oct 8, 2015 Book Lovers Life – Spotlight/Promo
Oct 8, 2015 Kimber Leigh Writes – Guest Post
Oct 9, 2015 A Book Addict’s Bookshelves – Spotlight/Promo
Oct 9, 2015 YA Chit Chat – Guest Post
And here's the review schedule (which has already started obviously - duh!)
This Review Tour will run from September 21-25, 2015.
Monday, September 21, 2015 The A P Book Club
Monday, September 21, 2015 YA Chit Chat
Tuesday, September 22, 2015 Books of Love
Tuesday, September 22, 2015 Cloud Nine Girl
Wednesday, September 23, 2015 Mama Reads Hazel Reads
Thursday, September 24, 2015 OriginiquEquanimity
Thursday, September 24, 2015 Karen lee hallam
Friday, September 25, 2015 Book Lovers Life
Friday, September 25, 2015 Kelly P’s Blog
Friday, September 25, 2015 Books and Authors
I have almost finished my Masters in Creative Writing at the University of Auckland. In other words, deadlines are looming, my thesis is due.
This is generally a time to panic.
My thesis is in the form of a novel. Now, for all intents and purposes, the novel is complete. ‘Complete’ and ‘Finished’ are two entirely different concepts however. I am still in what authors call the rewrite and editing phase.
Some authors like doing this. Some view it as the ‘fun part’. I don’t. I would rather create something new than remould something old. Frankly, I would prefer to be in Hell having my nose hairs plucked. But it’s part of the creative process and has to be done.
Writing a novel is a tiring, exhilarating, soul-destroying, emotional roller coaster ride, especially when you are currently working on version No. 6.
In order to deal with it (and especially rewrites), an author uses a variety of strategies. Foremost amongst them is procrastination. Some would call it work avoidance.
Procrastination takes many forms. The interweb is an enabler. Procrastination and the interweb are very good friends. My lecturer, Paula Morris, tells me that she does not let herself on the interweb until after 3pm. I am not so strong. Before I start a day’s writing, I check a variety of on-line distractions. First, I check my bank balance in the forlorn hope that some mysterious benefactor has deposited a large amount of money. Sometimes I hope that one of my royalty cheques will be large enough to write full-time. I’m still holding out for that day.
Then, I read my emails. In particular, I’m usually looking for something from my agent that is linked to the paragraph above.
Next, I check facebook. This can take some time. I closely examine my author page and see if I have any more likes. Then I check to see if any other authors I know have had any likes. Then I click on links to see if there’s anything interesting. There usually is. This is what I like to call ‘research.’
Then I check twitter. This also takes some time. I often toy with the idea of tweeting, even going so far as to write one. Then I find that it’s not very interesting or funny and delete it. I find it much more enjoyable to read other author’s tweets, authors who all seem to be far more funny and interesting than me.
Then there’s goodreads. I call it the black hole of Calcutta. There’s reviews to read (of my books and those of my peers), other books to find, other authors to check out, links to their webpages. All very interesting.
Actual words written so far: 0
After that, I go onto Amazon’s author central to see how many sales I’ve made the previous night. Often, I think about tweaking my author profile before discarding the idea as blatantly stupid. There’s really nothing I can say about myself that will make me darkly mysterious or even vaguely cool.
Finally, I crack my knuckles, lean forward, fingers poised above the keyboard as though I’m about to play a challenging piece by Mozart, and begin typing, praying that it is not today that my Muse abandons me.
If she does, it’s not the end of the world. That’s a whole different genre.
Phillip W. Simpson’s latest YA novel, Minotaur, is out with Month9books on September 29th.
Welcome to this week’s M9B Friday Reveal!
This week, we are sharing the
Month9Books Fall Books Preview!
Check out these amazing titles coming from Month9Books this Fall!.
They look amazing!
Be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!
Amazon | B&N | BAM | Chapters | Kobo | TBD | Mysterious Galaxy (make sure to enter her pre-order giveaway if you purchase from Mysterious Galaxy!)
"Jenkins brings edge-of-your-seat adventure to this intriguing new world. I can’t wait to read more!”~ New York Times bestselling author Jessica Day George
"Wow....WOW, WOW, WOW! I have no words to describe how much I love this book. Jenkins writes characters who are just so easy to love, and when you love a character it makes the book so much better. And I loved all the characters. Zo, Tess, Joshua and Gryphon. Gryphon is definitely my favorite - but who wouldn't love Gryphon? Of course I do have a soft spot for our heroine, Zo." ~Bri, Blogger @ Once Upon A Twilight
"Nameless destroyed me in the best way possible. The romance was subtle, but written beautifully. The plot was very intriguing and the pacing was spot on. I loved the entire cast of characters, every single one of them added to the story. Trust me when I say you should preorder it, add it to your TBR, request it from your library, do whatever you have to do to get this book in your hands because if you are a YA fantasy fan like me you need this book in your life!" ~Bridget, Blogger @ Dark Faerie Tales
"NAMELESS is epic storytelling at its best. My mind is still reeling from the world that I have just been immersed in and I don't want to leave it. Can I please have the sequel NOW? Because I need to know what happens next but in the meantime I'm just going to re-read it again and again. Is it that good, you may ask? Hell yes!!! And you will think so too. Trust me." Nancy, Blogger @ Tales of A Ravenous Reader
"To say that I love this book is an understatement. It completely blew me away! I am so happy that I took a chance on it. NAMELESS is one book that you can re-read over and over again and it will still feel fresh! I cannot wait for the world to read it and fall under the NAMELESS spell. Because that’s what I feel like I am under, a spell that has me trapped in Zo's world and won’t let me out! I don’t want out!"~Damaris, Blogger @ Good Choice Reading
“Lovers of mythology will enjoy this coming-of-age adventure and be surprised by the believable, "true story" of the Minotaur.”~ School Library Journal
phillip w. simpson
Phillip W. Simpson is an author of YA and children's books.