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M.J. Stevens – Author and Creative Spirit

A young woman trying to make sense of the world

Month

October 2014

Book Tour Sign Up!

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Oh yes! Another book tour is upon us, it’s been a while! This one is hosted by Hot Tree Promotions, and so there are plenty of details via the link if you are interested in signing up!
M.J.
From HOT TREE PROMOTIONS: 
We are excited to be organizing an amazing one-week tour for M.J. Stevens and her fabulous YA novel, ‘Bound’ (The Guardians #1). Bound is a YA adventure.

SIGN UP: http://goo.gl/forms/PRUitwzcc6

A tour-wide rafflecopter giveaway will be included containing a prize pack, including a paperback copy of ‘Bound’ and the brand new release ‘Divided’, four bookmarks and a handmade tiny-book necklace, modeled after ‘Bound’.

A super easy HTML doc will be provided for your convenience.

We would love your support in promoting this fabulous YA read.

Synopsis
No good deed ever goes unpunished, Mellea…’
Mellea Wendorn hasn’t exactly had a normal life. Misfortune seems to follow her, and her family, wherever she goes.
However, when Mellea stops to assist a mysterious young man suddenly her prior hardships seem trivial. His name is Leo. He is a Successor, a child of the Guardians of Selestia. He is royalty. He is handsome. And he wants Mellea completely to himself. Unable to escape the Guardian’s laws, Mellea must learn the ways of the royals. She is convinced her life can’t get much worse. But when a timeworn Guardian enemy arises from the shadows, Mellea must make a choice that will change her destiny forever.

I’m at a crossroads!

Gah~ [That’s the sound of 100% pure frustration escaping.]

I don’t know what to do. As a few of you know, I had planned to write a new book after Divided not Guardian related, for a break and whatnot. I then decided that I should go on with Liberated anyway. But now, I’m back again, and I’m wondering what to do. I’ve hit a snag. I think, in a way, I’m probably stalling because I know that one Liberated is over, in terms of the main saga, that’s it. There will be no more.

Of course I have been drafting and drafting Mellea’s story for the better part of my life, so needless to say I’m very emotionally invested in the characters, and whilst I love Divided – and I cannot WAIT for people to read it – it flew by so fast and I don’t want to miss anything with the last book. Currently it’s about thirteen chapters in, so the first half is solidly down. I guess now I’m just pondering if I release my other protagonists from their cages or let Mellea run over the finish line alone?

Also, thanks to everyone who has shared the Facebook page in support! It means a lot!

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M.J.

Three songs for my three books

Music is a big part of my writing, it helps me focus and paint images in my mind. For some reason, even though the Guardians Series is written as Mellea, I do best listening to songs from Leo’s point-of-view!

So these three songs, whether it be the words OR just the sheer musical power, have inspired all three books! Enjoy!

BOUND

“My life with you means everything, so I won’t give up that easily … This love is killing me, but you’re the only one. It’s not over.”

DIVIDED

“RUN BOY RUN!”

TipToe

“I won’t fall asleep.”

I need your help!

Hello hello hello!

All right everyone! I need your help with some promotion.

Just for fun: I’ve created a “Join Sentry” campaign! They say that in marketing terms, one person tells seven people about something. So don’t think that your one little share means nothing, it means the world! If you haven’t already liked the page, you can here. I’ve already had a few people buy both BOUND and DIVIDED as Christmas presents, what a great idea!

Indie work production is directly linked with sales. The profits from BOUND helped me make DIVIDED, make bookmarks, book into events … and so forth! So every book helps, and let’s face it, it’s a great story too! 🙂

PLEASE! Be a trooper, and join Sentry. *SALUTE*

Sentry*SALUTE*

LiberatedMini

Wishes do come true, just ask Mellea.

I made a picture! Well, I finally used a picture from ages ago in a productive way. Read below!

From Facebook:

In about … 2012 I roped a scared model into doing a photo shoot of Mellea, just not the one that is real today. We went down to the water and I tried very badly to explain the story and take pictures on the water, in winds that nearly blew us both away. I’ve been sitting on this image for nearly 3 years and today, it finally comes alive with a real story and purpose. Dreams really can come true people! This has been such a full-on year and I am so looking forward to all the events I have coming up so people can join us in being crazy about Mellea’s adventure!!

THANK YOU EVERYONE!! 

Mellea3

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LiberatedMini

Hello to new people/Divided/Liberated?!

Hi everyone,

Thanks to all of you who have signed up to receive these blog posts and keep up-to-date with what’s happening!

At the moment, I’m basically typing stories with one hand and resumes with the other. I’m actually a communications bachelor holder, but I really only did my degree so I could write. But seeing as how an absolute miracle hit me: I got INTO uni, I took it. Sometimes I get asked if I’m still at uni and I say yes because it’s easier. I actually finished in 2012 and have been bumping around in retail and whatnot ever since. Stay in school kids, there are no jobs.

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In the meanwhile I’m promoting Bound and of course, Divided! I’ve nearly sold out of the advanced copies, but the rest will be here soon. I’m keeping the official release date as the 28th to correspond with Supanova Brisbane which is the first event I will physically have Divided for. I will have individual books and packs and I am so freaking excited!! But of course you can get it now! Do it! DIVIDED.

A big thanks to Redland City Libraries, Moreton Bay Regional Libraries and Logan City Libraries (books coming to you soon) for supporting my work and purchasing copies for the public.

I’m trying to hook up some more book signings too for next year. I will probably ask closer to the new year where people want me! I will be taking the Gold Coast by storm March – April with a total of 3 full days of book selling and signing. http://www.mjstevensauthor.com/upcoming-events

Liberated is coming along steadily! If you’ve been keeping up with my Facebook and/or twitter you will have seen that the first draft word count is storming ahead. At last out I was about 23000 words in. (As a rough guide Bound is 63,000 words and Divided is 72,000 words) so the first ten chapters are down. The story is going to be different than the other two. It’s definitely more of a ‘where do you fit?’ story leading up to the final chapters. But be prepared for some awesome action as Mellea and the Guardians take on not one, but TWO enemies… interested yet?

Happy reading and writing.

LiberatedMini

10 Things Changed From BOUND

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First Ever Cover Photo
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Current, real cover words
“Start somewhere, anywhere, that’s the best place —” M.J. Stevens 

Over the process of your writing, you’re going to go through some changes and cuts. They’re absolutely vital. Characters will even jump out at you and tell you stories you didn’t plan, or remind you to take something out.

Sometimes, I have moments in my books for so long that when I do my final change, I forget that I have. I get a surprise reading it back! For me, I went through two major story changes before my manuscript for BOUND became what it is today.

Here are 10 things that were changed from the originals: (As spoiler free as humanly possible!)

  • Elentia originally held the role now owned by Lethia. That’s right; Elentia was the rough-draft equivalent of the Lady Guardian. However, this is before I drastically changed the royal system and created the Montarus family.
  • Leo wasn’t a Successor, Mellea was. Back before Successors were what they are today, and trust me it was extremely different, Leo wasn’t the prince character. I tried to avoid this for YEARS which is why BOUND took so long to improve. The minute changed it, the story unfolded before my eyes.
  • Question: Why is Leo named Leo, when all the other characters have made-up names? Arin, Leo and Soren were originally named Aries, Leo and Gemini. That is why Leo is still called Leo. He does have the fierceness of a fire-lion and at the same time, can be as cute as a kitty. And I don’t even like cats! Sorry folks.
  • Soren was a lesbian. She had a female bride. Now, that being said, Demmi (her current male-bride) is actually a repurposed character who stood alone. He is NOT her original bride gender-bent! I adore Demmi and he is my favourite character, I had to have him in the new version and I really thought he’d fit. His true name was Demmious and he was a Successor too, in a way…
  • The evolution of the Montarus family tree: Leo > Neros > Dorkarn > Macal … is very new. I’ve enjoyed creating this side of the family and there are plenty more surprises to come. In essence, Sir Macal is the one who started the entire Guardian story in the first place by not destroying the MECHs.
  • The MECHs! They weren’t what they are today. The idea for them came from a rough idea I had for the 4th book, of the initial 5  planned. It wasn’t until then that I realised that they were so much better than the first bad-guys, so I put them in power!
  • Question: What does MECH stand for? MECH doesn’t stand for anything. Otherwise it would be M.E.C.H. Like M*A*S*H! MECH comes from the word Mechanical.
  • Mellea has always had ‘water powers’ since day dot! I’m talking the first ever time I made my first O.C. (open canvas) character back when I was 10 (I’m now 23). However in this new book the way she will use the water stone will be vastly different to any of her predecessors.
  • In the original version, when Mellea is taken to the Tower and she confronts Leo for the first time, he slaps her across the face. Due to some draft feedback I decided to change this to a simple threaten moment, but it still caused some dispute with readers. I needed to set Leo up to show that he has always gotten what he wanted. Leo is a good person, but in many ways begins in the story a complete brat. He’s also a strong, angry, young man who has a past that will be revealed in DIVIDED.
  • I admit it. In the initial story there was a sort of Love Triangle situation going on. But as I continued to draft, he became extremely unwanted. So I said, NO! I don’t need a love triangle! Not all YA has to be centred around a mediocre-looking girl and two super-hunky boys, both with individual strengths and personalities designed to make you pick a team. COUGH TWILIGHT COUGH. I’d rather put my energy into crafting Leo and Mellea’s relationship, rather than forcing her to decide which hottie she will chose. But I think we all know Leo would win, by force.

Leo: “Indeed, I would win … I would win at all costs … mwahahahaa.” Okay maybe not with the mwahahahaa bit. That was me.

M.J.

MelleaGlowLib2

October Update

Hi Everyone!

Well it’s October, already, somehow. As most of you know I have been working on my promotion for DIVIDED which includes getting it into libraries with it’s BOUND friend, applying for author talks next year, getting materials ready for future conventions and so forth. I have decided that I am going to write LIBERATED before my other projects and have rearranged my schedule on the website. I just feel like I can achieve more when Mellea and the Guardians get out of my head.

FutureProjectsI have started drafting both The Story Closer and The Dream Thief. So far they’re about equal when it comes to which might be next after LIBERATED. The Story Closer is the new version of a very old story I had in my head when I was trying to draft what is now BOUND for years. The Dream Thief is a totally new story inspired by something someone said to me about me haunting their dreams. “Sorry ’bout that!”

They both will be single stories, not part of a series. I have my fingers crossed majorly that I can have Liberated ready for my Guardian Gang (lol, like that?) by March, but I am feeling so overwhelmed by things right now, my life has gone a bit haywire, so I won’t promise anything at this early stage. Plus both Bound and Divided were/are getting released in 2014 so that’s major. Normally you would have been forced to wait a good 12 months or MORE for book 2, and of course anywhere up to 2 years for book 3. COUGH DIVERGENT COUGH. I hope I can do it though. Keeping in mind it takes a few months just for editing and over design and printing! So I would probably need it to be finished by January … which is sort of scary!!

This week I have been frustrated by Facebook. They only show your posts to all of your likers if you pay money. On my admin page I can see how many people have got the post, and out of 208 likers only 5-10 see what goes up. I don’t really mind that so much for twitter stuff, that gets relayed to Facebook. But my big announcements like the advanced copies of Divided, I was really unhappy to hear people didn’t see the message until this weekend and it’s been over a week (and man have I been posting about it!) So if you follow this blog or plan to, do it. I don’t post more than once a week so you won’t be spammed. Usually they’re big posts like this one too so you get all your goodies in one.

I do have a post that I will put up for next week: 10 Things Changed From the Original Draft of Bound!

I hope everyone has a good week!

M.J.
Rafflecopter

Don’t forget to enter the Divided competition! 
Enter here:
http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/b987389e3/

15 copies of Divided left + Quiz time!

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Hi all!

I have 15/30 advanced copies left of Divided in paperback form, ready to find a new home. Please visit the website: http://www.mjstevensauthor.com if you would like a copy. If you are getting your copy at Supanova, fear not! I will have plenty for the November official release. Feel free to flick me a message and let me know you’re coming, I’ll do up a pack for you.

Until then, are you even ready for Divided? *wild west music* Test your skills with this test! You will either be a Guardian, Bride, or Townee! Which are you? http://www.quizyourfriends.com/take-quiz.php?id=1410030125336580&a=1&

M.J.

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