Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Blog Tour: Black and White

Hi Larissa! Thanks for hosting a post for me during my blog tour. The Howling Turtle is a great blog name. I’d like to share with your readers a few things I learnt during the writing of my series.
Tips on Writing a Dystopian Trilogy
I’d better preface this post by saying that I didn’t sit down to write the Black & White trilogy with the word “dystopian” uppermost in my mind. It was the label that seemed to fit after I’d finished a couple of books, but I’ve since learned more about it and I’m excited to read more in this genre. For that matter, I didn’t sit down to write a trilogy either, but when I got to the end of the first book there was clearly a lot more to tell. Having said that, here are some tips that hopefully will be useful if you’ve got some ideas that could turn into such a trilogy (also applies on a more general sci-fi level), or even in the midst of edits on one.
  • Define the event that created this world. Was it natural or man-made? A meteorite crashing into Earth and obliterating large sections of society? An uprising that overthrew the government? Do the changes affect the entire planet or just one or two countries? It could even take place on another planet. Like with any other type of information, don’t drop all this at once, but it will form the backbone of your series and must be well defined in your own head. Even better, keep written records. Inevitably, it will have a bearing on the action happening in the present. You can also explore the monumental event that created your world in a prequel. This is what I did with my series.
  • What are the rules that govern this world? So you’ve gone into detail on the background, now it’s time to look at how this peculiar world shapes events in the here and now. More pertinently, the story your characters are telling. Of course, the action could come from what happens when they kick against those rules. What if children in your world were homeschooled by robots and one of them broke their programming, revealing things about the government that aren’t meant to be disclosed? (Ideally this would be a result of tinkering by the student – if it’s a YA or MG story, a key rule is that your young protagonists should be the drivers of the action.) How would the breaking of one rule have a ripple effect on others? 
  • Who is in charge? According to the Oxford English Dictionary, a dystopia is “an imaginary place or society in which everything is bad”. That leaves us a lot of scope for interpretation, which is good, but it’s likely that any ruling government isn’t going to be democratically elected. If there is a voting system, is it rigged or restricted only to certain groups? If no central body is in charge, how are things organised? My book features a hyper-organised world in which fabricated food is available constantly, but a dystopia could just as easily be a primitive society in which food and other resources are at a premium. How would this impact on your plot?
In all, I don’t think dystopia is a restrictive genre at all. You can create any world you want (as long as it is, in some way, bad). Do you find these tips useful? Do you enjoy reading dystopian novels? Have you written a book or series in this genre, or would you do so in the future?

Title: Black & White
Author: Nick Wilford
Genre: YA dystopian Series #: 1 of 3
Release date: 18th September 2017
Publisher: Superstar Peanut Publishing
What is the price paid for the creation of a perfect society?

In Whitopolis, a gleamingly white city of the future where illness has been eradicated, shock waves run through the populace when a bedraggled, dirt-stricken boy materialises in the main street. Led by government propaganda, most citizens shun him as a demon, except for Wellesbury Noon – a high school student the same age as the boy.

Upon befriending the boy, Wellesbury feels a connection that he can’t explain – as well as discovering that his new friend comes from a land that is stricken by disease and only has two weeks to live. Why do he and a girl named Ezmerelda Dontible appear to be the only ones who want to help?

As they dig deeper, everything they know is turned on its head – and a race to save one boy becomes a struggle to redeem humanity.

Purchase Links:
Meet the author:
Nick Wilford is a writer and stay-at-home dad. Once a journalist, he now makes use of those early morning times when the house is quiet to explore the realms of fiction, with a little freelance editing and formatting thrown in. When not working he can usually be found spending time with his family or cleaning something. He has four short stories published in Writer’s Muse magazine. Nick is also the editor of Overcoming Adversity: An Anthology for Andrew. Visit him at his blog or connect with him on Twitter, GoodreadsFacebook, or Amazon.
Enter the giveaway for a chance to win a copy of my collection A Change of Mind and Other Stories or a $10 giftcard! a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, September 18, 2017

Spotlight: Our Young Guardians: Seven and Two

About the Book:
The life he knew the day before was long gone...Who will protect his mother now?

The future of our civilization has always been in the hands of our children. What you may not know is that many years ago, a few of our young ones fought a quest against evil—an evil unlike anything anyone has ever seen under this sun. They didn’t know it, but their sacrifices allowed our forefathers—and us—to maintain our fragile ownership of this world.

In Seven & Two, the first book of the Our Young Guardians series, we begin the chronicle of one who was brave enough to leave behind what he knew. His faded handwriting not only captures how they struggled through that war, but how they learned to find themselves as they grew up away from their families.

You and I owe them more than we could ever give. And even though there is no word of them ever asking for anything, my heart tells me they would only ask for one thing—to keep them where their friends are.

The least we can do for them is honor their story.


About the Book:
Rodolfo “Rodi” Szoke was born in Mexico City in 1967. His ancestry blends Hungarian and Mexican heritages across generations. He earned his bachelor’s degree in information technology in 1991 and has worked in that field ever since. Early in his life, Rodi developed a keen interest in fantasy and sci-fi adventures, making him grow into an avid moviegoer and casual gamer. In 2004, he conceived the idea for the Our Young Guardians series as one avenue to teach some key “life lessons” to his daughter once she reached middle school. Rodi currently lives in Texas with his family.

Disclosure: this post contains links to an affiliate program (Amazon), for which I receive a few cents if you make purchases. 

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Spotlight: Akairya: First Half of the Fractured Soul

About the Book:
The country of Alkairyn has been stained by the growing touch of a blight. Named the Shadow because of its darkness, its strength is only possible because the soul of the earth has fractured. Unaware of the power she carries, half elf Akairya is forced to flee her home city as it is destroyed by the Shadow's children, Roraks, and dragons who have embraced the poison. Through the push of fate, Akairya comes across a dragonling, and together they stumble on a journey that will shatter their perception of spiritual identity and morality, and eventually prepare them for the battle against the highest power of the Shadow; the Shadow Lord. Though they have many questions, one burns the harshest. Will they succeed?

About the Author:
When Abrianna Leaming was only eight years old, she 'wrote' her first book and created imaginary worlds and scenarios that actually quite worried her family. "Will she ever be able to tell what is fantasy and not fantasy?" They asked themselves. Luckily, she simply grew up into what we call a writer.

Now 24 years old, Akairya is her first novel. She lives in Chilliwack, British Columbia, where she rides horses and plays too many video games. She graduated from the University of the Fraser Valley in 2017 with a BA in English with a Creative Writing Concentration.

Abrianna decided to self publish her book after finding it incredibly hard to gain footing in the massive world of agents and publishers. Writing a compelling query letter was a thousand times harder than writing her book...so she took the plunge and released her book herself.

The Fractured Soul is a two-part story, the first being Akairya. Available on Amazon and Abrianna's personal eStore, Akairya is a fast paced introduction to the world of Alkairyn and the sickness that plagues it.

Go to www.abriannaleaming.com or Amazon to order your copy today!

Insta: @abriiannaa
twitter: @abriannaleaming

Disclosure: this post contains links to an affiliate program (Amazon), for which I receive a few cents if you make purchases. 

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Spotlight: More Than a Fraction

About the Book:
Based on a true story, rediscover an extraordinary story with ordinary roots. Thomas and Othello Fraction are brothers and best friends who had heard, and let no one forget that they were descendants of an African nobleman whose tribal scars looked like tiger stripes. But here they were in America, considered three-fifths a person, and fighting two battles: one for the Nation and one for themselves. Read the story that leads up to a “guns drawn” standoff, and learn how the Fraction family came to America, contributed to the Civil War, survived murder attempts on their lives, and eventually settle outside of Blacksburg, Virginia as southern refugees.


About the Author:
Dr. Kerri Moseley-Hobbs is a policy, regulation, and administration specialist in the field of higher education. Prior to her career in higher education administration and leadership, Dr. Moseley-Hobbs worked as a promotions assistant and junior writer at The Baltimore Times Newspaper in Baltimore, Maryland. She was first published by the newspaper when she was 12 years old and continued to be published until she was 18 years old at which time she began her career in higher education. In her current role Dr. Moseley-Hobbs continues an almost 15 year career in higher education administration and leadership including working in the efforts to ensure strength in areas such as student aid, federal title IV compliance, accreditation, curriculum development, and innovative academic programs. 

Dr. Moseley-Hobbs currently holds a doctorate degree in Education, and three degrees from the University of Maryland: a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice, a master’s degree in Interdisciplinary Management, and a master’s degree in Business Administration (MBA). 

She is a 6th generation descendent of John Fraction, the subject of her first Creative Nonfiction book More Than A Fraction.

Disclosure: this post contains links to an affiliate program (Amazon), for which I receive a few cents if you make purchases. 

Friday, September 15, 2017

Original Poem: Wild Spaces

Wild Spaces by Larissa Banitt
In the trunk of my used, gold car
an ottoman purchase on clearance
sits among camping supplies.
Day has receded to the deep blue of twilight,
not quite yielded to night’s velvet fingers.
The first stars are peaking down
despite the lights from the city.
Up on my left, I spot three deer, nibbling
daintily on a manicured lawn,
white tails swishing.

How many drivers missed those
small movements and mistook those lithe forms
for three of the plastic mannequins
that dot the tamed lawns of this neighborhood,
the real dismissed for the expected?

I slow, crawling by while the deer
attend to the green shoots.
Rolling down the window, the humid
summer air mingles with
the cold, stale air produced
by the air conditioning
and they collide on my skin.

When did we start believing that fairy tale

 that we could leave Eden?