Search

M.J. Stevens – Author and Creative Spirit

A young woman trying to make sense of the world

Month

December 2014

New Year Giveaway!

lsp

It’s nearly that time, 2015! Seems like just yesterday I was like, yay 2014! How quickly we get over our New Year crush!

I’m having a … well, I’d say quiet but basically a SILENT one this year at home. I do however have wine and glow sticks so it should be fun in my head, ha-ha! Here’s hoping for a more exciting 2015.

I have a giveaway going on my Facebook to celebrate the changing of dates! It’s a paperback copy of Bound, The Guardians #1.

Details are here: https://www.facebook.com/boundtotheguardians

I hope everyone has a great, safe, and happy last few hours of 2014! I’ll see you next year!!

M.J.

I’m back!

Hello all!

I decided that I would take a few days off to enjoy Christmas and revive. I hope you’re all enjoying your holiday season, and I must say that I am more than ready for 2015. I have glow sticks and everything! No seriously, this year was amazing, I accomplished the massive task of publishing Bound (January) and Divided (November) got turned away for things, accepted for things, and met a whole bunch of new people. Yet I’m bursting for an even more successful and productive 2015.

Right now I have plans to work on Liberated as much as possible as well as some other works too!

Take care!

Event announcement: Readers and Writers Down Under

RWDU BANNER PROMO My first event (so far) planned for 2015 is Readers and Writers Down Under!

RWDU will be held on the Gold Coast, and for those who know their events well: Yes, it’s a bigger and badder version of the “indie authors down under” event that was held this year.

The event organisers want us to share some information, especially if you are an author outside of the romance genre, ME! There are some great YA & NA authors going and we will be mixed-in with the romance people so we need you to come and support us!

It’s going to be held at the fabulous QT hotel! For budding authors Friday has lectures including a talk on Contracts and Copyright by Alex Adsett. I actually drove to the GC from Brisbane two years ago to hear her speak this lecture and it was SOOO helpful! So I really suggest you think it over, especially if you’re going indie.

We are urging all those thinking of going to join the guests facebook page! Here!

Need more details? Hit the website: readersandwritersdownunder.com and take a look around!

 RWDU15 SQUARE PROMO

Last chance to order before Christmas!

Hi everyone!

Christmas is only 9 sleeps away!

If you were thinking of getting Bound, Divided or both, for a Christmas present, now is the time! Orders within Australia should make it to you before next Wednesday, but only if you order now!

Christmaslast

Liberated Teaser Trailer Release

Here it is, an early New Year’s present! I hope this makes you want to read the last book. (Possible spoilers if you haven’t read Divided).

Growing the Writing Seed: Becoming a Writer

Hi everyone!

Welcome back to another blog about writing! This week I’m talking about becoming a writer!

How to Become a Writer

So you’ve decided you want to write, you want to be an author, a diligent wordsmith, but where the heck do you even start You have to have an idea, a goal. No matter how far away or impossible it seems, setting a goal for a genre or outcome will help you with the next steps. Since I’m a YA fiction writer, let’s use that as an example.

  • Research: La blarrrr~ no it’s okay! Research doesn’t have to be a chore, but it has to happen. You can’t write about an evil million dollar cooperation if you have no idea how one works. What do you think you’re just going to walk in there and talk to the boss, demand answers, have your character woo him with new ideas and get him on your side? Wow, you really do write fiction! No, of course not, there are systems and protocols that are logical and help give your story a thickness it’s going to need to survive. And that’s where the fun is, really, taking what already exists and making your own high-tech security system! Having your character meet others who will help him or her on their path to greatness. Make it up, and then have your characters prove it’s real.
  • Find your active-time. Not everyone is the same and so, you need to find a time that’s comfortable for you to write. Just because Jonny No-sleep stays up until 4am writing, doesn’t mean you have to, or should! If you need to drive 60 minutes to work the next day, living on 3hrs sleep is dangerous and unproductive. So think: Do you love the mornings? Are you a night owl? Work out your routine with either work or school and don’t forget those unpredictable children, and start making it a point to sit down and write. Failing that, I have another point for you …
  • Writing on the go! We’re all so busy and sometimes ideas literally fly at us when we least expect it. Most modern phones have note-taking software. Jot down a few of those key points for later, email them to yourself. Trust me; you WON’T remember them later even if you say you will. Then you will hate yourself.
  • I love using my phone to do voice recordings. When I’m home alone I grab a seat for 10 mins and chat away. At first, yes, you feel like you’re talking to yourself (especially when you start doing character voices). But now, I love just speaking it out, pretending I’m reading it, then you can type it up later, and when heaps of people are around: Headphones!
  • There is no better way to learn human interactions then to watch actual humans. Next time you are getting coffee or shopping, open your eyes. What can you tell about him or her by looking. What might people assume verses what is probably true? I personally love watching people. I like watching, say, a mother trying to handle a screaming child, taking in my first impressions of her and the kid, and then flipping it on it’s head. Who is she? Why does she look so tired? Where is his father? Is that child sick? Build stories and let them go. This skill is so helpful. It even works on buildings, houses, business … just try not to get caught leering, or she may call security.

 

????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

Cover Reveal! Eleven Weeks, Crazy in Love #2

My wonderful editor Lauren McKellar has the second instalment in her Crazy in Love series not far from release! Today, I joined up to do a cover reveal for her. Can I just say, what a bootilishus cover? I mean, damn! Ha-ha! The cover was designed by Kila Designs who made my covers as well!

Eleven Weeks (Crazy in Love #2)
Release Date: 01/2015
Summary from Goodreads:
Seven shots
Five siblings
Two boys
One heartbeat …
***
Stacey is
good at pretending.
She pretends
that the boy she’s in love with doesn’t exist.
She pretends
that she’s happy to live and die in this small town.
She pretends
that her life is carefree while her best friend’s life crumbles before her very
eyes.
But Stacey’s
got a secret …
And it’s going to ruin everything,

Books in this series:

(cover linked to Goodreads)

Praise for The
Problem With Crazy
“Heartbreaking,
life-affirming—one of my all-time favourites.” Glass Paper Ink Book Blog
“This story is beautiful,
heartbreaking and will leave you thinking about it for days to follow.” A.K.A.
The Book Harlots Review
The Problem With Heartache will be released in February, 2015, and is
the conclusion to Kate’s story.
About the Author
Lauren K. McKellar is a writer and editor of fact
and fiction.
For more information on her editing services, click here.
For more information on her YA Contemporary (Escape
Publishing, Harlequin Australia) Finding Home,
or her NA Contemporary The
Problem With Crazy
, please click on the appropriate links.
In her spare time, she likes long walks on the beach
with her puppies and drinking delicious cocktails prepared by her bar-owning
husband.Author Links:

   

GIVEAWAY:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Cover Reveal Organized by:

Liberated Sneak Peak Poster!

Happy Monday everyone!

Whether you are off to work, or on holidays for summer, the year is drawing to a close! It’s been a massive hall this year to get Bound ready for its launch in January to Divided being released in November. I am currently working on two projects, one of which – of course – is Liberated, the final book in the Guardians series. I am hoping to have the novel finished for April. It’s going to be bigger than the first two with more baddies, a deeper look into Livolism’s history, sneeky men, new Sentry officers, old friends and life choices! Plus, lets not forget about Doctor …

???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

Growing the Writing Seed: Why write?

Hi everyone!

I recently decided that I would use a presentation that I prepared for an event, that sadly didn’t happen, to assist those who have come to me asking advice or general questions about writing and the industry.

For me, the motivations for why someone writes are very important. That’s where I would like to start off today!

Picture7Why do people write?

People who don’t write, or read, ask that question a lot. You will never guess the amount of times I’ve heard, “I love reading, but I could never be a writer.” And you know what, they’re probably right. I say this not to be mean or uppity, I say this because we’re not all the same. Wordsmiths have this feeling in their guts, and whether they start writing young, or write their first book at 60, they’ve more than likely always had this feeling that it was something they were going to do. Be it an auto-biography, or a fiction novel, or even a cookbook, it was always there. That’s what I think anyway.

So … why? What drives us to write? I did some internet snooping and found four great reasons:

It’s a form of expression. Writing is an art; it’s a way of communicating a message that lives deep within us. It’s not a way of expressing ourselves like we do in everyday life, its painting images in the minds of others. And that’s pretty cool. We also enjoy the challenge of the craft, of learning, of failing and achieving.

Picture5Egotism. On some level, either right at the surface, or that deep down you deny it all together; writing can be linked to egotism. We want people to read our work, to know us, to understand us. In these modern times authors need to be as on par as their work. Being a 21st Century writer means being in the public eye, not just a name on a book. Today, some people write to market not only their talents as a wordsmith, but as an all-round professional.Picture6

To change the world! And I’m not talking about being a superhero, although who doesn’t love a cape, am I right? A lot of the time, writers see the world as a place with gaps, like a brick wall missing some of the key bricks. We work to craft those bricks and finish that wall. Ah, symbolism.

Picture3

To bring meaning to the world. Imagine the horrible world we would live in without tales? I mean, oh gosh, that’s just awful. No new stories, no classics… no point! Creating, sharing and recounting stories is what makes us human and gives us a history and an advancement above any other creature that has ever existed on Earth. We have a duty!

Picture8

My Motivations

My motivations are all of the above. I want to tell the world a story, I want to share, I want to create, and I’m not above saying I would enjoy some sort of money in the long run for food and clothing, and for people to know my author name and be like, “yeah, she’s pretty cool”.

At the end of the day: your motivations are your motivations! Whatever is the reason, and what works for you, is what you need to draw on to complete your project. So I would urge anyone looking to be a writer to think about their motivations and if they’re not one hundred per cent sound to you, then you need to think harder, because it’s too easy these days to be a one-hit wonder.

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑