Happy Sunday, y'all! Today I'm excited to have K.K. Allen on for Indie Fall Fest!
Don't forget to drop by the kick-off post and enter our huge giveaway!
On Kira Adams' blog, she's featuring E.J. Logan today!
By E.J. LoganDo you have any strange writing habits? Ways to cure writers block?
Other than handwriting my first drafts I wouldn’t call my writing habits strange, but there’s definitely a method to my madness. Let me first say, there is not enough time in the day to write, even if there’s nothing to write about. I’ve found that in order to maintain focus in whatever I’m writing, no matter the lack of ideas I have at a particular moment, I just keep writing. Eventually there will be a spark of an idea, or an inspiration to rewrite everything I just wrote. The journey is worth it if I just keep writing. When I’m “blocked,” it’s mostly because I lack the necessary knowledge to write the subject at hand. So another thing I do when the writing doesn’t flow is stop writing – and start researching.
What is your best marketing tip?
When I first started all of this, not too long ago, I was clueless as to what it took to self-publish and market to my audience. Quite honestly, I didn’t know who my “audience” was. I assumed that since I was writing in first person through a female’s eyes, and due to the ‘crushing on the boy next door’ factor, young girls would devour my novel and everyone else would pay it no attention. I was SO wrong. Middle-aged adults and male readers, to my pleasant surprise, have loved The Summer Solstice: Enchanted. Why? Because the love story is not the prominent storyline in book one. The mythology, suspense, and supernatural elements are. My marketing tip is to avoid assumptions and focus on a diverse range of advanced readers. This initial audience provides critical insight into your target audience. They also are good for boosting your ego and giving you early reviews (wink).
What is your least favorite part of the publishing / writing process?
Waiting…and technical factors are by far my least favorite part of the publishing/writing process. I can’t tell you how many times I had to submit my first print cover for The Summer Solstice: Enchanted to make sure everything was lined up and formatted perfectly. And once I thought everything was good to go, I’d have to wait for my snail mail to arrive in order to proof it before approving it for print. The print process definitely takes the longest, and it doesn’t help that I’m impatient!
Is there one subject you would never write about as an author? What is it?
My writing range is very broad as well. I have plans to write many genres of books, but I probably will stay away from full-on Adult Romance. I enjoy writing about love and the heat and innocence of it all, but I am happy to leave out any elaborations there. All in all I like my stories to have a purpose, and even an underlying moral element. But I try to keep that light, because my books are more to entertain than anything else.
Is The Summer Solstice your first book? How many books have you written prior (if any?)
The Summer Solstice: Enchanted is my first published book. In my bio I speak to this a bit because I’m amazed that I’ve had this passion my entire life yet I’m just now figuring out that it’s something that I want to do professionally. I was 12 years old when I penned my first draft of a middle grade contemporary romance book. I went on to write a series out of this particular concept – all for me, just for fun. Other than that I’ve written editorials, blogs, scripts, website / marketing copy throughout my professional career, but I’ve been a closet fiction writer all my life. I’m happy to finally have my stories out there for my readers to enjoy.
What is your favorite trait in your MC Kat from The Summer Solstice?
Kat is a resilient teenager who has been faced with some life-changing circumstances. However, she overcomes them with an openness and fortitude that is both attractive and intimidating to those around her. Her innocence is something to be admired alone, but it is her blossoming internal strength that I find most enjoyable to write.
Just as your books inspire authors, what authors have inspired you to write?
Nicholas Sparks has a beauty in his words and such a charismatic way of portraying stories while sticking true to his timeless stories of simplistic, yet heart-wrenching love. He is a genius in my eyes and his books are number one on my auto-reads list as I call them; as soon as his books hit the shelf you know I’ll be reading them. I’ve studied his On Writing section of his website, which is such a great tool for new authors. I’m also a YA fan so I devour stories from popular authors such as Veronica Roth, Suzanne Collins, John Green, and so on.
How important are names to you in your books? Do you choose the names based on liking the way it sounds or the meaning?
Every name in The Summer Solstice: Enchanted has a unique meaning important to that character’s storyline. A lot of research went in to coming up with the names of these characters because it’s important to me to study the backgrounds of each character before I can write them in. I learned early on that if a character has no backstory it’s very obvious to the reader and they become forgettable. If I write a character in, I want their life to breathe in the pages, even if I’m not telling their story…yet. Usually, bits and pieces of those stories begin to emerge throughout the book, and then more throughout the series. Since my characters have a Greek heritage, bred from original Ancient Greek gods and goddesses, I wanted all names to mean something. For instance, Rose Summer (Kat’s grandmother) speaks to her about her heritage and where Kat’s name, as well as the Summer’s name, derived. I don’t want to give too much away here but yes! Names are very important to my writing and they all have a meaning.
Are you a plotter or a pantser?
I’m happy to say I’m a bit of both (wink). You’ll rarely find me in any single category with anything. I’ve found a flow to my writing that works well for me. I start out as plotter, but I leave room for pantser. Let me explain. I outline my story. I believe this is the most critical first step. I need an overall big picture of how my story is going to look, what it’s going to entail, and finally, how it will end. But I don’t define every detail of my outlines. One thing most writers understand is that the better you know your characters, the more they write the story for you. I leave room to grow my story as I write because I know now that no matter how strictly I plan my characters will change as they evolve throughout my story.
What are you working on now? What is your next project?
At this moment I am in the editing phase of The Equinox, which is the second book in The Summer Solstice series. If you’ve read The Summer Solstice: Enchanted then you’ll know that it leaves readers with some questions. What is the Equinox and what to they want? What happens with Alec and Kat? Where is Kat’s father? Why is Rose so distant with Kat? Is there more to Kat’s mother and why she kept Kat away from her family? And where did Kat’s necklace go after the mysterious boater person rescued her? All of these questions and more will be resolved in Book two.
Genres: Young Adult, Paranormal Romance
Katrina "Kat" Summer has been sheltered and void of
social interaction her entire life. That is, until her
mother dies unexpectedly and she is forced move to Apollo Beach with her estranged grandmother, a mysterious woman filled with tales of the Ancient Greeks from which the Summer family descends.
Leading to her sixteenth birthday, the day of the Summer Solstice, Kat is occupied with enigmatic visions and disturbing dreams with prophecies much too real to ignore. As her visions start to become reality she is terrified for her future and the future of those around her.
What Kat finds in Apollo Beach is a budding romance in the gorgeous neighbor, Alec Stone, and a mythology surrounding the Summer Solstice that forever transforms her from the awkward girl she once was to something much more...enchanting.
Oh my, WOW. Yes! To say The Summer Solstice: Enchanted wasn't what I was expecting would be an understatement. K.K. Allen surprised me in the best of ways. She surprised the heck out of me. There are so many elements that just work in this book. And whenever they're put together... it makes for a memorable and enjoyable adventure!
K.K. Allen really tended to her cast of characters. They're a mix and match bunch that are so well written. Kat is a character that stays with you. She's one of the many reasons why I loved this book. She's faced with a lot during the upheaval of life as she knows it. I was so impressed with K.K. Allen's writing because of how her characters are written. Characters are always a big thing for me and the author really knocked it out of the park!
I have absolutely no hesitation in recommending this to young adult fans. I'm so in awe that this is K.K. Allen's debut. It shows so much promise. You do not want to miss this incredible series!
**I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review with no compensation.
(clockwise, starting top left)
Katrina Summer played by Shelley Hennig
Charlotte played by Charlize Theron
Alec Stone played by Grant Gustin
Rose played by Helen Mirren
(clockwise, starting top left)
Iris played by Dakota Fanning
Paul Summer played by Jamie Dornan
Ava played by Anna Sophia Robb
Grace Summer played by Jennifer Connely