Friday, May 15, 2015 | By: Taffy

Mysteries of Cove book 1: Fires of Invention ~ Cover reveal!!

J. Scott Savage is one of my favorite people and I'll tell you why:

1. He's a fantastic writer/author.
    Read his books and you'll see why he's so good! My favorite was the last one in a series (Shandra Covington Series) that took a few years to finish. I haven't even read the other books in the series, just the last and I loved it.
2. He's genuine and nice and genuinely nice.
    Jeff is a good guy. He really, really is one of the nice guys. He's down-to-earth, humble, funny and easy to talk to. Don't believe me? Go to one of his book signings or catch him at a writer's conference and say hi. Tell him Taffy sent you. I dare you...
3. He's a great teacher. 
    I don't if I already know the subject Jeff is teaching, I'm bound to learn something from him.
4. He loves to give back to the writing community.
    Jeff/Scott gives a lot of time (a lot of it is for free) to the community. He's da boss. 

I'm excited to read this newest book of his. I'm a little put out that it's a series because I will have to WAIT to read all the books. ;)

Keep reading to find out more about Mr. Savage and the book. You can find him at all the places below:

INSTAGRAM: jscottsavage

Author Note:
Like many of my books, the inspiration for my new series Fires of Invention came from the collision of two ideas. The first time the story occurred to me was while I was watching the musical Wicked with my wife. The moment I walked into the theater and saw the huge mechanical dragon above the stage, I thought, Wow! I have to write a story about that! A few weeks later, I was talking with my nephew, who is probably the most creative kid I know, but whose inventiveness often gets him into trouble, and I thought, What if a kid who had the talents of my nephew lived in a world where creativity was against the law? What if the kids were building . . . a steam-powered dragon? Bam! I had my story.

Powered by great feedback from my agent, Michael Bourret, my good friend and author James Dashner, my publisher, Chris Schoebinger, and the song “Warriors” by Imagine Dragons, I wrote the entire first draft of the first volume in the series, Mysteries of Cove in four weeks. This book is unlike anything I have ever written. There are elements of City of Ember, Dragon Riders, and Hugo in it all mashed up together in a world I fell in love with from the moment I started writing.

I think what’s most exciting to me about this book is that it’s about giving yourself the freedom to imagine. To take chances. Too often we limit ourselves by only trying things we’re confident we can succeed at when what we need to do is give ourselves permission to fail. Often it is when we attempt things with no idea of how we can possibly pull them off that we achieve our greatest successes.

Book Description:
STEAMPUNK! Plus Dragons!
Trenton Colman is a creative thirteen-year-old boy with a knack for all things mechanical. But his talents are viewed with suspicion in Cove, a steam-powered city built inside a mountain. In Cove, creativity is a crime and "invention" is a curse word. Kallista Babbage is a repair technician and daughter of the notorious Leo Babbage, whose father died in an explosion-an event the leaders of Cove point to as an example of the danger of creativity.

Working together, Trenton and Kallista learn that Leo Babbage was developing a secret project before he perished. Following clues he left behind, they begin to assemble a strange machine that is unlikely anything they've ever seen before. They soon discover that what they are building may threaten every truth their city is founded on-and quite possibly their very lives.

Author Bio:
J. Scott Savage is the author of the Farworld middle grade fantasy series and the Case File 13 middle grade monster series. He has been writing and publishing books for over ten years. He has visited over 400 elementary schools, dozens of writers conferences, and taught many writing classes. He has four children and lives with his wife Jennifer and their Border Collie, Pepper, in a windy valley of the Rocky Mountains.
Wednesday, May 6, 2015 | By: Taffy

Wednesday Writing with 2 Felines ~ Writing Prompt

Hiding from the humans
Our cats are not always on their best behavior. Fat Cat likes to bite toes, especially bare toes. In the summer he will wait under the deck stairs and grab onto ankles and bite toes. Last winter we had the lid off the toilet trying to figure out if it was broken or frozen. I balanced the lid on top but not fully on. From the other room we heard a loud crash then two frightened cats raced through and up the stairs. Apparently, one of them thought it was a good idea to get on top of the lid to drink out of the toilet tank and unbalanced the lid. Crash. The lid broke into five pieces.

Have you ever read a book told from the bad guy's point of view? Have you ever tried to write one? I think novellas are perfect differing POVs. Maybe you'll want to write one based on your villain.
Here's the writing prompt today:

Rewrite a fairy tale from the bad guy’s point of view.

What would the story be like from Ursulla's point of view? Or President Snow's?
Monday, May 4, 2015 | By: Taffy

REMAKE by Ilima Todd - Official Trailer - Giveaway!

If you haven't read REMAKE by Ilima Todd yet, you should! Buy it, borrow it, go to the library and find it! I think you'll enjoy it.

 Here is the official book trailer!

(And make sure to scroll down and enter the giveaway for a $25 Amazon card).


 GIVEAWAY! a Rafflecopter giveaway

L. Ron Hubbard presents Writers of the Future

I read four different stories out of this anthology. I started all of them but didn't have time to read them all before I had to write this review. I loved them! The first one was a great way to start off the book. a  murder/police story set in the future with an interesting take on a drug that enhances everything in your brain.

There are a lot of talented writers! If you like sci/fi, read this book. Preorder it!

The book, The Writers of the Future, v. 31, comes out on May 4th--Star Wars Day! 

 PreOrder a print copy of The Writers of the Future, v. 31, and invite all your friends to buy one, too! You can find it here

Join our Thunderclap campaign to help us spread the word!
Wednesday, April 15, 2015 | By: Taffy

Wednesday Writing with 2 Felines ~ Reverse Outlining

There's a lot you can do when you edit a picture. Take the two examples above. The first picture shows two cats on a green blanket, possibly in a garage. There's a lot of detail that really isn't necessary. After cropping, the second picture shows just the one cat and his whiskers and sleepy eyes.
The same type of editing works for writing. Less background detail (i.e. info dumping), close up detail (character's flaws, etc) and focus (insights, hints, foreshadowing).

I had the good luck to attend ANWA's (American Night Writer's Association) Time Out For Writers Conference in February 2015. And lucky enough to go to Phoenix where it was 70 while back home it was 30. I even got a light tan line.
But I digress...
There were many classes I really enjoyed, but the one from Lisa Magnum's stuck with me so I want to share it with you. I really needed a new way of editing and this helped tremendously.

Reverse Outlining

1.    Examine each chapter
a.     Who is the star?
b.     What new info is learned?
c.      What action is taken?
d.     Does the plot move forward?
2.    Follow every character’s thread
a.     Where do they begin?
b.     What are the events that trigger change?
c.      Is there a logical progression to their development?
d.     Where do they end?
3.    Summarize main theme
a.     What symbols have you used to communicate the theme?
b.     Are there areas in the manuscript where you can strengthen without being obvious?

I opened a new document and went through each chapter for step #1. It was eye-opening and very informative. Here, let me show you part of what I did:

Ch 5 letter

Emma is affected by weather. Keeps busy cleaning.
Major Henry gets a dance going. He chivalrous. William G. Henry
Nielson is Major Henry’s soldier and plays the fiddle.
*** does Dr. Peyren play the fiddle earlier? Or talk about it?
Priscilla is affected by Major Henry. She dances with patients.

The asterisks are ideas or missing information I want to add. After I worked on this chapter, I italicized this so I knew that I had finished the work.
After I finished step #1, I would do #2, then #3. This editing only took me a couple of days but I felt like it upped my story and made it better. 

What do you do to edit?