Letting Others Read Your Work: A Guest Post By Hanna Rothfuss

June 26, 2017

   Hey, all! I'm only popping in for a quick second, because I'm not the one posting today ;). Instead, my awesome and talented writer-friend Hanna Rothfuss from Taking My Time is here to talk to y'all about letting others read your writing - which, in my experience, is both terrifying and completely worth it xD. Shall we let her get on with it, then?

   Hello, readers! I’m barging into Savannah’s blog today to talk about a scary subject: letting others read your work. It’s a question every writer has to ask at some point or another, even if they don’t really know they’re asking it: Should I let others read my writing?

   I didn’t happen to ask myself this question for a long time. I started making up stories before I learned how to write, so my “writing” career started by dictating to a family member. As I began writing myself, I continued to let my family read my stories. I was blessed with a very supportive, encouraging family and the idea of letting others read my stories didn’t scare me. (As long as I didn’t have to read them out loud--something I still struggle with!) Everyone told me they were great, and I was a great writer.

   When I started a blog when I was thirteen, it only felt natural to start posting stories. It wasn’t until then that I realized how scary sharing your work can be.

   I got upset once when someone critiqued my writing. When I told my Dad about it, he said there will always be people who dislike my writing. He added that there will probably always be people who say so. I think this is true for all writers. So does that mean we shouldn’t let others read our work? Should we just write for ourselves and bury our precious papers in a drawer? Or--safer yet!--keep our thoughts inside our heads and quit writing?

   My answer to these questions is a resounding no. This post contains two reasons why.

1. It Helps The Author 

   Proverbs 27:17 says, “As iron sharpens iron so one person sharpens another.” One reason I believe it’s invaluable to let others read your work is how helpful it can be. Handing someone something you wrote and asking them to look for problems is hard--especially if you think they’ll actually do it! But having proofreaders makes your story so much better. Having a second person to tell you if something makes sense or if something is grammatically correct makes your writing better. (Just now, I typed your instead of you’re. If my word processor hadn’t caught it and underlined it in red, I probably wouldn’t have noticed!)

   It’s also a good idea to ask people with more life experience than you to proofread. They can coach you through writing things you’ve never felt or done. In the last story I posted on my blog, my main character was a hunter. I asked my parents to proofread it before I posted it. After reading the first chapter, my Dad and I sat down to talk about it. He said, “Hanna, you’ve never shot a deer.” We went back through the scene and revised it with Dad’s added experience deer hunting in mind. I had written from the point of my knowledge of archery. With my Dad’s added knowledge, we came up with something much better than I had done alone. One of my friends even e-mailed me after I posted the story on my blog and asked if I had ever been bowhunting!

   Before we move on to point two, there’s one more thing I want to say about proofreaders: Needing proofreaders doesn’t make you a bad writer, or your story unoriginal. Trust me, your proofreaders couldn’t sit down and write your story without you! No one else can write your story.

2. It Blesses The Readers

   What is it that makes sharing your work so scary in the first place? Well, people can love it, or they can hate it. To be honest, they both scare me. It hurts when people dislike your work, but others loving it almost scares me more.

   Because when you share a story, it’s not all yours anymore. I mean, it’s still your story, you’re the author, and you probably know it better than anyone else. But you’re not the only one that loves it and cares about it anymore. If someone loves your story, they’ll claim it. I feel a sense of possessiveness about my favorite stories--that book is my copy, that series is my favorite. I love them, and it makes me sad when others dislike them. When people fall in love with your world or your characters, they’ll get protective too. They might even get mad at you if you’re not nice to their favorite character.

   And it scares me a bit to let my stories out of my control like that.

   But I still share my work, because I know it blesses others. Think of your favorite book. Now ask yourself: What if the author had gotten scared and just not written and/or published that story? Scary thought, huh? I’ve read early-draft stories that weren’t even completely edited, and still been inspired by them. Stories bless people, writers! Please share them with us.

   *applauds* That was super insightful, thanks for sharing it with us, Hanna! I've had a couple of betas and alphas for Killing Snow, and even though it's so scary to let my work out of my hands - even for only a few weeks! - it's always worth it in the end!  

   Now, scamper on over to Hanna's blog, Taking My Time, and check out the guest post that I did over there! ((especially if you're a fan of Lord Of The Rings or Narnia ;))

~ Savannah Grace

   Have you ever had proofreaders or beta readers (or any other eyes than yours) go over your story? How did it go? Go ahead and ask Hanna any questions you have in the comments!

Character Interviews with David Sullivan from A Question Of Honor (by Jesseca Wheaton)

June 22, 2017

   Today I'm interviewing the epic character, David Sullivan, from the equally incredible book A Question Of Honor. (I reviewed A Question Of Honor (a YA historical fiction novel) a little while back, if you want to read more about it before the character interview)

    There will be spoilers in this post for those who haven't read the book so proceed with utmost caution, oh bookdragons xD.

    Savannah Grace: So, I've heard that you're a pilot, David - what's your favorite thing about flying, and what's the hardest?

   David Sullivan: Favorite thing? It's a variety of things. For one, the freedom I feel. There's no feeling quite like the weightlessness of flight. When the ground falls away beneath you and the sun is the only limit. You feel totally and completely free. As if, nothing can ever hold you back. It's something priceless.
   The hardest thing? Landing. For one, because I have to leave the sky. The other because it's often difficult to land on the many different kinds of runways. And over in England, it's not often guaranteed that we'll get a runway. If our plane gets hit, we have to land in any flat place we can find, which is often dangerous.
   Sorry, that was a long answer. ;P

   SG: That's fine! Flying sounds SO amazing (well, maybe not the landing part xD), I hope I can try it someday! What kind of plane do you fly?

   David: Right now I fly a J-2 piper cub. It was what most of us who were in the Army Air Force during WWII were first trained in. After the war, they were transformed into crop dusters, which is what I use it for now on the farm.

   SG: Very cool. Okay, tougher questions now - leaving Elaine to fight in World War 2 must have been a very hard decision for you. Why were you convinced that it was the right choice to make?

    David: To be honest, I wasn't. I'm not sure one can ever be convinced when they make a decision like that. For such a long time afterwards I worried that I had heard God wrong. That perhaps, I should have gone overseas. Not before I was called, anyway. But a good friend helped to remind me of why I had made the decision. Why I had felt a peace about it. And he pushed me back to Christ. And it was there, at the feet of Jesus, that I knew I had made the right choice. Because God doesn't give peace about a decision that is wrong.

    SG: "Because God doesn't give peace about a decision that is wrong" Agreed in full. And what was one of the hardest choices you had to make during World War 2?

   David: Leaving my family was one. and then leaving them again the second time was yet another hard decision. I think the second time was harder than the first, though. I had tasted the bitter taste of war. And everything in me screamed to stay where it was safe and treasure the loved ones I had left. But if I had learned anything, it was that God will never lead us wrong. And where He calls, we must follow. Even if it's something that our natural mind can't see any point in.

   SG: I'm glad you were brave enough to make those hard decisions, because they were obviously the right ones in the end :). Who helped hold you together through all of World War 2?

    David: Who? Well, to name one person would be impossible. Jesus, of course. I'm not sure I ever would have made it through the war with my sanity if He wasn't by my side. Also, Gil. He helped me through many struggles, both before and during the war. Elaine was a huge strength, always praying for me, and loving me enough to let me go where God was calling me. Also, my brother Rafe. I'm not even sure what all I can say to express the bond we have.

    SG: It's so awesome that you had people to stand by you during the war.
   Okay, almost done here - do you think any good came out of Erich taking Joyanna hostage?

   David: Did any good come from it? Yes. Without that happening, I would never have met Joyanna. I would never have been able to know the priceless treasure she is, and the sun that she brings to our life. What Erich meant for evil, to help Germany, God used for good. He gave me a daughter, and Joy a new home in a land where she'll never have to live in fear.

I can't help but be a LITTLE glad that Joy was was captured, too - she's such a sweetheart <3.
    Alright, final question - do you think that any good came out of World War 2 (other than Joyanna ;)) for you?

    David: Oh, that's a hard question to answer. I don't think we’ll ever really be able to see how God brings good from things like that until we get to the other side of glory.
   I pray that it brought me closer to God, and in a way, I know it did. I had to depend on Him like never before. Also, it brought me closer to my family. It's made me appreciate many things that I took for granted before. Often little things, such as a carefree smile, or the ability to walk down the road without fear of attack. Things I had never considered before.

   SG: I think all hard things bring us a little closer to God :). 

. And that was the end of this interview! Thanks for popping in, David, I loved hearing your answers to my questions! 

~ Savannah Grace

   Do you like Historical Fiction? What's your favorite historical fiction book? (and make sure to check back here in a few days - one of my friends will be posting in my stead!) 

July Camp NaNoWriMo - What Am I Writing?

June 17, 2017

   So this is partially me joining in a #CampNaNoCountdown linkup, and partially me randomly deciding that I should tell you guys about what I'm writing for July's Camp NaNoWriMo.

   Because obviously you were waiting to find out xD. 

   I'm assuming that a good portion of you saw my Five Poisoned Apples contest reveal - obviously I'm entering it ;). And that's going to be my Camp NaNoWriMo novella!

   I can't tell you much about it yet (it's still in that super-secret mode, and only a few of my critique/writing buddies have heard anything about it), but I'm hoping to tell you more about it in a few months. I can't wait until it turns into a proper story, instead of a foggy-wild-crazy-idea-in-my-head!

   But (seeing as I'm a NaNo Rebel), I'm not only working on one project. I'll also be writing more of Killing Snow, because I'm WAY behind schedule with it. The story has been changing majorly as I re-write it, so it's tons of fun and tons of stress. At the same time. My head may explode, someone send help.

and here's a messy snippet, because some of my friends said I should share one ...

   So, in a nutshell (and a very short post *cringes*), that would be what I'm writing for Camp NaNoWriMo.

   Except, there's always the slight chance that I might find some fun plot bunnies to go running after, and then I'll have to write even more. Just a slight chance xD. 

~ Savannah Grace 

   Who here is doing July Camp? What are you currently writing?

7 Books For Your Summer Reading List + 7 Books On Mine

June 12, 2017

   Summer is here! (well, not officially - not until the 21st - but I've been melting in 90-degree-and-above weather and battling mosquitoes over here, so I consider it summer) Which means that it's high time to talk about summer tbr! (and if you're wondering why I picked seven books instead of the regular ten, it's because it's unique. And Ariel and I didn't want to take any more book pictures. So there xD)

7 Books For Your Summer Reading List + 7 Books On Mine - Header Image

   Summer-y stories are read-by-the-campfire, lighter, friendship stories that I want to read while sitting on the deck and listening to fireworks go off (literally did that last year). And Summer is the perfect time for binge-reading middle grade books, admit it. So I'm here to pile seven more books onto your (probably already heaping) Summer reading pile! Ready?

   Let's do the thing. 

Every Soul A Star by Wendy Mass

   Every Soul A Star had to go on the list - and no, it's not just because of the gorgeous cover (#highlybiased). While the story isn't five-star, I've read it multiple times over, and it was really cute and fun, and perfect for reading while sitting out in the backyard at night and trying not to get bit by mosquitoes. (yes, you can read in the dark if you're really dedicated. I have xD).

The Sea Of Monsters by Rick Riordan

   Let's ignore the fact that I'm holding the second book in this picture, shall we?

   This series is perfect for summer because each book takes place during Summer break. Come on now. But seriously, it's a really fun, middle-grade series that I really enjoyed (because the main character is sarcastic, and who doesn't love sarcastic characters?).

   (content caution: there are a couple series that branch off of this one, and I'm pretty sure there was questionable content in some of them, but I'm pretty sure there wasn't any in this one? Don't quote me on that though)

The Blue Door by Christa Kinde

   It takes place on a farm, you guys. During Summer. And it's about a girl who can see angels and has all sorts of adventures - which should be enough to get this book on your TBR xD. 

   But in all honesty, I love Christa Kinde's writing style. It's so much fun, and so easy to read. And it's ten times more fun when Ariel reads the book aloud, because she has an epic story-telling voice. Maybe I'll bribe her into reading them aloud again this Summer ;).  

Martin Hospitality by Abigayle Claire

   Martin Hospitality released in February, and I'm super glad that it came out a few months before Summer, because now everyone can go nab it and add it to their Summer reading list.

   And not only is the cover gorgeous, the story is, too! I gave it 4 stars in a book review that I wrote for it a few months ago, and it's in a genre that I don't read all that much, so it was kind of surprising that I liked it so much! (and it starts out during the Summer, and half of it takes place on a farm, so this one gets extra Summer-points)    

The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland by Catherynne M. Valente

  This is one of the strangest and one of the most fun books that I've ever read. It reminds me a bit of a slightly-modern Alice In Wonderland. It's so fun and whimsical, and absolutely perfect for reading outside on a Summer day. This is honestly one of my favorite books, so I'd probably recommend it even if it wasn't Summer xD.

   Also, there is a dragon who is basically a library in the book. All of us small book-dragons will adore him, because he is pretty much one of us. <3

Harry Potter And The Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling

   If you thought I wasn't going to recommend Harry Potter, I'm afraid you were sorely mistaken.

   Who doesn't want to read the Harry Potter books during the Summer? The next best thing to sitting outside and eating ice cream is sitting outside and going on a magic adventure whilst eating ice cream. I love the Harry Potter series so much, and J.K. Rowling is a wizard herself when it comes to writing. Plus, the series is definitely long enough (and big enough! You can pick out the monstrously big end-of-the-series Harry Potter books on my shelf) to keep you busy during the Summer - unless you read books quite fast, like I do xD. 

On The Edge Of The Dark Sea Of Darkness by Andrew Peterson

   I just discovered this series within the last month - and while the first one was a bit childish (it is middle grade, not YA, after all), The Wingfeather Saga got SO GOOD by the middle/end of the second book. I was hooked for good, and the last book reduced me to a puddle of feels in the corner.

   ANYWAYS - I'll put off my tirade of raving until my Monthly Highlight post for June. The Wingfeather Sage would be great for Summer reading - the first book (which you definitely shouldn't judge by its title) is light enough to be a fun, Summer-y read, and the rest of the series turns into an adventure that you can't put down, even if the pool, trampoline, and sprinkler are all calling your name xD.

   *glances at all the books* Well, seeing as half of my recommendations were series, I'm pretty sure that that was a lot more than seven books xD. Shall we move on to my Summer TBR? 

Books On My Summer TBR
+ Howl's Moving Castle and Inkheart, which will be re-reads

   Five Magic Spindles was released quite awhile ago, and somehow I haven't read it yet? Same with Unblemished - the second book in that series (Unraveling) has recently released. And it looks amazing, so obviously I need to get started on this series xD.

   The Lost Kingdom of Bamarre, Breakwater, and The Evaporation of Sofi Snow have all been released really recently and OH MY am I excited to have those gorgeous works-of-art in my hands! Especially Sofi Snow - I've got it on hold at the library already!

   Exiles hasn't even released yet - but I'm pretty sure that it does sometime in July. And I'm incredibly excited for it! I'm reading through the whole Ilyon Chronicles series again, so that I have all the facts fresh when the fourth book comes out.

   THAT was a lot of books. Hopefully your TBR is not currently trying to kill you, but if it is nobody blame me. TBR's are known for doing that xD.  

   Here's hoping you have a wonderful, book-filled Summer! 

~ Savannah Grace

   Are any of these fourteen(ish) books on your Summer reading list? Which books should I read this Summer?

Book Review - The Girl Who Could See by Kara Swanson

June 4, 2017

   I'm going to be thinking about this story for a long time, trust me. I'm SO glad that I read it!

Book Review - The Girl Who Could See by Kara Swanson - Header Image

 4 1/2 Stars

   Going through all of the posts that shouted out 'I can't wait to read The Girl Who Could See!', I always assumed that it was a traditionally published novel. I mean, look at that cover! No one has room to blame me xD. And then I requested it at the library, and it said that it was a novella, and I learned from another blogger that it was self-published. Both of which may or may not have shocked me, but I still had very high hopes for this eye-candy book.

   I was not disappointed in the least.

 - The concept of the story itself. The back cover had me hooked from the start! And my sister (Ariel), who never very rarely reads books like this, was so intrigued by the back cover blurb that she read it, too. And she'll probably rave over it in the comments. Now there's the mark of a good book xD.
   But seriously - the concept was amazing. An imaginary friend that has been with her since she was eight, and who might not be as imaginary as she thought he was? Epic - and the plot was also incredible, so put the two together and you have a five-star story!

"... I open my mouth and force my voice to remain calm and steady. I hope my words are convincing - they have to be. "I know about the incident, Agent Barstow, because my friend warned me" Throat dry, I look away. "My imaginary friend.""

   - The ending. I'm extremely picky about endings in books - a whole star will probably be docked if the ending isn't satisfactory. And the ending of The Girl Who Could See was amazing. Kara Swanson wrote the ending of the book wonderfully, and I LOVED it. So good. <3 

   - The book was simply amazing. Sometimes you can't say any more than that, but it's honest-to-goodness true. The Girl Who Could See was an awesome book, and I pretty much read it in one sitting. And then I gave it to my sisters so that they could read it and we could all flail over it together xD. The plot was very unique, the characters were amazing, I LOVED the conclusion. Everything was just good.

   Okay, I gotta stop before this gets long xD. 

   - It did get a little confusing sometimes. Though, honestly? I think that was just me, and I wasn't that bothered by it. There were just a few instances where I had to backtrack to make sure I knew what was going on. But that's fairly normal for me, in any book - because I have the memory (and apparently the brain power?) of a goldfish xD. 

   - I wish it was longer! The Girl Who Could See was absolutely awesome as a novella, but I can't help but wish that it was longer! But, despite the fact that I would love love love to have seen more of Fern's story (and I think The Girl Who Could See had room for so much more), it did fit very well into its novella-sized package. It was a lovely story. <3

   ANYWAYS. Needless to say, The Girl Who Could See was quite a wonderful book! Amazing plot, epic characters, great conclusion - this was quite a treat, and in such a tiny package (it's adorable, by the way - I want to buy it)! I'd recommend it to any and all (well, not younger readers, probably thirteen and up) fans of the speculative fiction. Go and pick it up. You won't regret it xD.  

- From The Back Cover - 

Cover of The Girl Who Could See, by Kara Swanson
 All her life Fern has been told she is blind to reality—but, what if she is the only one who can truly see?
   Fern Johnson is crazy. At least, that's what the doctors have claimed since her childhood. Now nineteen, and one step away from a psych ward, Fern struggles to survive in bustling Los Angeles. Desperate to appear normal, she represses the young man flickering at the edge of her awareness—a blond warrior only she can see.

   Tristan was Fern's childhood imaginary hero, saving her from monsters under her bed and outside her walls. As she grew up and his secret world continued to bleed into hers, however, it only caused catastrophe. But, when the city is rocked by the unexplainable, Fern is forced to consider the possibility that this young man is not a hallucination after all—and that the creature who decimated his world may be coming for hers.

~ Savannah Grace 

   What do you think of the cover for The Girl Who Could See? Does the back cover blurb make you want to read it? 

Cover And Contest Reveal (Rooglewood Press)

June 1, 2017

   Been waiting for June 1st, 2017 for over a year - and now I get to be a part of telling you guys why!



Rooglewood Press invites you to join the adventure of the Five Poisoned Apples creative writing contest

Five Poisoned Apples Website Banner

   If you've known about this contest (*cough* or waited for it FOREVER like I have *cough*) then you know what this means - but if you don't, I ought to explain it to you, huh? ;)

   Five Poisoned Apples is the fourth (and final) Rooglewood fairytale retelling contest, in which hundreds of writers will be vying to get their name and their story in this gorgeous anthology. You'll gave seven months - the contest starts today, and your novella must be sent in by the last day of December (though your form has to be sent in earlier) - to write a novella retelling of Snow White. You'll send it in to the Rooglewood Press publishing house, and on April 2, 2018, the five stories that won and will be published into the Five Poisoned Apples will be announced. And (should you win) your editor will be author Anne Elisabeth Stengl, and it doesn't get much cooler than that. ;)

   Anyways, enough of my rambling! Click here for more details and rules on the Five Poisoned Apples contest. It's going to be epic, and it's going to be the last contest like this, so you definitely don't want to miss it. And if you want to take a gander at the other anthologies that were done in Rooglewood Press contests like this (retellings of Cinderella, Beauty And The Beast, and Sleeping Beauty), go ahead and check out Five Glass Slippers, Five Enchanted Roses, and Five Magic Spindles.

   And the full, gorgeous cover of Five Poisoned Apples ... 

Full Cover For Five Poisoned Apples

   I'm out-of-this-world excited about all of this contest - all of the novellas that have won in the previous contests have been AMAZINGLY unique (people have managed to change fairytales into historical stories, pirate stories - you really should just read the anthologies for yourself and see :D). And - it's pretty obvious by this post - that "new project" I was telling you about is a new Snow White retelling for this contest. I'm so excited to see if my writing can hold a candle next to the writings of the people who have won this contest before! Will you be joining me? ;)

~ Savannah Grace 

So, what say you - are you entering the contest? What do you think of the cover?

Monthly Highlights - May 2017

May 29, 2017

   I may or may not have slacked (...or taken an unexpected almost-hiatus?) on doing posts in May. My apologizes - but I was sick, so I do have an excuse! But here I am to tell you all about the random things that happened to me in May ... 

  - Our baby robins (a pretty little mama robin decided to build her nest right outside our window - er, she reused an old one that was already there xD) are getting huge and adorable. I have to admit, when they're newborn and slimy ... well, they aren't all that cute - but now that they have fuzzy little feathers and teeny black eyes, they're adorable.

Two and a half week old baby robins
a bad picture of them, because they INSISTED on sleeping all day xD

   - We handed out May Day baskets and went to multiple graduation parties, which was tons of fun - May was definitely a very busy and very epic month ;). And I'm almost done with school - it'll be super awesome to start summer break. 

   I would say "where do I even start?" ... but I started last month's Writing-ly Things section like that, so let's not be repetitive xD.

   - I wrote roughly 22,890 words this month - and I say roughly because I wrote words for so many different projects that I don't think they're all present and accounted for!  

   - I started on a brand new writing project, but I can't tell you what it is yet ;). But I CAN tell you that you'll know more about it on the 1st of June. I'm super super excited about it though, so definitely be watching out for that post.

   - Killing Snow got a lot more words added to it during the month of May. I didn't get near as many as I wanted to - I meant to get it all done, and I only got three fourths of it done - but I'd say that it was very, very good progress. I'm planning to getting the rest of it done in June, but considering the new project I mentioned above, I might not finish the whole of it. But, to stick with the schedule, I need to get a good deal of it done, so I'm certainly going to try. 

   Well, I'd share snippets, but I don't have the time to go looking through all the junk I wrote to find good bits to share. Guess I'll owe you extra snippets in June, huh? ;)

12 books that I read in May

Worst book:  Swipe by Evan Angler (and may I mention that it wasn't a bad book? It just wasn't up to par compared to the rest of the almost-all-four-stars-or-above-books that I read during the rest of the month)
Best book: Probably North! Or Be Eaten (don't judge it by the title, because I did) by Andrew Peterson, though When Ravens Fall would have come close, if it wasn't a novella - though, if I could include A Time To Rise by Nadine Brandes (and I technically can't, because I read it last month, but wasn't able to include it in April's Monthly Highlights, since I finished it after it was published), IT WOULD TAKE THE CAKE.

   Wow, so I rambled on much longer than I thought I would. Let's get on with this, shall we? ;)

   - North! Or Be Eaten by Andrew Peterson. I read the first book in this series (The Wingfeather Saga) in May as well, but the second book - this one - definitely surpassed it, I'm so glad I decided to continue with this series. I was a little worried during the beginning, because I was having a bit of a hard time getting attached to the book, but by the end WOW. I love this thing so much. I need the next one. I'm giving this one a beautiful 4 1/2 stars. 

   - When Ravens Fall by Savannah Jezowski. I'd read another novella by this author, and it was AMAZING, so I was expecting good things from When Ravens Fall - and it didn't disappoint at all! It was such a beautiful novella, and the things that surprised me the most was that it didn't feel like a novella. Most novellas that I read feel like they're a bit short and moving a little too fast - but this one felt like it was a novel. It was lovely, and I adored this read. Definitely worth the 4 1/2 stars I'm giving it.  

   - A Time To Rise by Nadine Brandes. This is my blog so WHO CARES if I read this book during the last few bits of April. I didn't include it before, so I'm including it - it was too good for me not to! Seriously, like I said last month, if I had to pick a top-favorite series, the Out Of Time Series would be a top contender. I have never cried over a book in my life, but I think this one brought me the closest (and yet I've still never cried over a book *sighs*). Nadine is a BRILLIANT storyteller. Hopefully I'll get a full review of this book up during June, but for now I'll just say that I give it a full 5 stars.

   I also reviewed A Question Of Honor this month, so do check that out if you want more of my bookish thoughts ;).






   - Mary Horton did a beautiful post about imperfect beauty (ironically xD)

   - Burning Youth may have posted my favorite post of their's this month <3 <3 <3.  

   - Katie Grace posted about all the bookish and writer-ly things - which was super fun to read about.

   - Nadine did a post on 20 books you should add to her summer reading list, (and Jonathan did one, too) and my TBR just got bigger (and I might steal Nadine's post idea because other people have, haha ;))

   - Amanda Beguerie did a post that I love so much, and I can't even find a way to explain it, so I'll just leave you with this link. <3

   - Hannah White did a post on explaining your story to other people and OH BOY was it helpful.

   - Shantelle spotlighted a book titled Unraveling (by Sara Ella) and OH MY. I though I'd buy it for the cover alone, and then the excerpt had me sold. I need the thing xD.

   I'll be finishing off the How To Liven Up Your Character series in June - we only have one post left! And then there's a special post I'll be doing on the 1st that I'm really really excited about.

   But I can't tell you what it is - so I suppose you'll have to wait and see ;).

~ Savannah Grace 

   How was your May? Do you know what my post on the 1st is going to be? What do you want me to do a series on after the How To Liven Up Your Character series is done?

The #VoicesOfYA Tag

May 20, 2017

   The has got to be one of the coolest tags ever created. Caitlin is the maker of it, and Audrey is the one who tagged me - so many thanks to them both! I'm excited for the chance to ramble and rant about all things YA fiction ...

The #VoiceOfYA Tag - Header Image

What Draws You To YA?

   The voice. The way it can twist and whirl and send your mind spinning and falling until you're not even sure if you can can come back - until you're not even sure you want to come back, because why would you after that story? The feel and the sound and the way YA voice gets from my brain to the page (or from the page to my brain) is one of the many things that draws me to YA. 

   And ... then there's the characters (if you didn't guess that I was going to say that, you haven't been around me long). They're beautiful and incredible heartbreaking and they can teach you things about the world. Both the crafting and the reading of people that aren't real, but should be, is what draws me to YA.

   Gracious that was a ramble. And only half of what I really wanted to say, so you may or may not get a whole post about this later on ;). 

Describe Your Writing Process.  Do You Like Outlines And Structure, Or Seeing Where The Story Takes You? 

   Whoo, boy. My process is so complicated, I think you'd go nuts to hear it - mostly because it changes with every. Single. Book. I never know what's going to happen! But I almost always know where I want to start, and I always know where I want to end! It's a start xD.

   Let's go with my process for Killing Snow (my unfinished WIP), shall we?

   I started with a zero draft, then I thought up a rough outline of what Killing Snow should look like so that I knew how to stitch those pieces together (I don't remember if I wrote it down or not). After I pieced the first draft together, I edited it into a second draft, then edited the third draft, etc. (I'm sure there was more outline scratching and restarting in there somewhere - I had a lot of plot holes). Until I got to the fifth draft. I stopped full out after the fifth draft and wrote a very long outline to turn Killing Snow into a novel (during this whole process so far, it had been a novella).

   So all of that is what has already happened - and now I'm using that outline to try and tame a very, very feisty story called Killing Snow. It's not working very well. I'll get back to you on it xD. 

How Long Have You Been Writing? Where Are You In Your Journey?

   I've been writing since I was ... ten years old, I think? But I started realizing that publishing young was a thing getting serious about my writing when I was about thirteen. I'm in the 'I could be so close' part of my journey, because I'm hoping to start researching literary agents and publishing houses at the beginning of 2018, along with the pros and cons of self publishing. But I've been writing for about six years, which is insane. THE ROAD IS LONG - but I'm in it to win it xD.

What Do You Need To Write? Coffee? Music?

   A brain that is mostly fully awake (which is a rarity), and preferably a plot bunny or two. I love music, but only if I can find something that really really fits the mood of what I'm writing, and that's hard to pinpoint sometimes. Gel pens, though - I cannot even think about handwriting without a gel pen. I will refuse. I will quit. I will full-out stop and wait to get my gel pens. Even though handwriting is not really my forte (I type my words if I can), I do still love it, so I always have quite a stock of gel pens ;). 

Pen And Ink

     Honestly, what I need to write changes on my mood. Who can tell. (but a thunderstorm is always nice *shrugs*)

If You Could Offer One Piece Of Advice To Another Writer (OTHER THAN "don't give up"), What Would It Be?

   My word - I love encouraging writers, so it's hard to pinpoint one piece of advice, but let's give it a shot ...

   Do you love writing? Don't quit. Do you love writing? Then God's got a plan for your words. Do you love writing? Then there is a reason for what you do. Never doubt yourself.

   Never doubt yourself.      

   Don't quit if you're having a hard day - or a hard week - or a hard month. If you love words, then you love them for a reason. Don't doubt yourself as a writer. Dry spells are hard enough to drive a writer to tears and frustration and doubt, but you'll come through. Doubting yourself is okay for a time, and we all go through it, but then you've got to let get. 

   Don't doubt yourself as a writer - you've got this.

What Book Still Has You Reeling From Its Plot Twist?

   Good gracious. I've read so, so many books that have plot twists big enough to make me drop the book and wonder if it really happened or not! But the most recent book I read that had a giant plot twist was Heartless (Marissa Meyer), and the Out Of Time (Nadine Brandes) series. Both of these had jaw-dropping plot twists in them. Well, okay, I predicated the plot twist in Heartless, but I didn't actually think it would happen!

   I'm still reeling from all these books, you guys. Read them.

What Books Are You Most Anticipating For This Year?

   Ooh, another hard question. There are so many epic books coming out this year! But I'm majorly looking forward to The Evaporation of Sofi Snow (Mary Weber), The Girl Who Could See (Kara Swanson), and Renegades (Marissa Meyer).

Three books I look forward to this year, by Weber, Meyer, and Swanson

   Perfect eye-candy right there, you guys. I would almost buy these for their covers alone xD.  

In Your Opinion, Which YA Book/Series Has The Most Unique Premise?  

   I'm trying to chose a book that's a little more recent here ... and I'm also trying not to mention Heartless and the Out Of Time series again (go figure) ... huh. It's hard because there are certain books that are super super unique, but because they are so unique, they then kind of started a trend and became not-so-unique because everyone is copying them xD. I could go on and on and on about YA books with unique premises, but I'm going to say Illusionarium (Heather Dixon), because I've been thinking about it lately. That book is incredible, and I love it so much.

What Is Your All-time Favorite Quote From YA?

   Don't ask me such questions, what is wrong with you people? I have SO many quotes that I love from YA books, and I could probably fill five posts with them (... maybe I should do a post of them at some point ... *has ideas* xD)! But one that I ran over recently was this one from Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire ...

   "If you want to know what a man's like, take a good look at how he treats his inferiors, not his equals." 

   (spoken by Sirius Black, from Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire)

   It keeps rolling through my head - and I finished the book (for the third time, maybe?) a couple days ago - and I can't get it out. But I think it's pretty true ;).

What Book Do You Most Hope Will Have A Movie Adaption?

   But don't most movie adaptions just ruin the books? Okay, well, if you could assure me that the movie would be as good as the book, A Branch Of Silver, A Branch Of Gold (Anne Elisabeth Stengl), Entwined or Illusionarium (Heather Dixon), and A Time To Die (Nadine Brandes) would be some of my choices. And all the gazillion other books I've ever read xD. 


I Tag ...

   Abbie @ Abbiee
   Jonathan @ Fishing For Ideas 
Mary @ Sunshine And Scribblings
Rebekah @ Rebekah's Remarks

 - any and all of you who write and love YA fiction -


   Gracious, this post got long! And I really want to expand more on some of these questions - so I suppose you guys will have to put up with some more posts on YA fiction later, huh? ;)

~ Savannah Grace

   How long have you been writing? What books are you looking forward to this year? Do you write YA fiction?