Guest Post: Author Spencer Hoshino

Today’s post is a guest post by the lovely Spencer Hoshino, author of Paper Wishes (The Magical Girl Series #1). I am incredibly honored and excited to have this chance get to know her and to work with her to promote her awesome novel! Please make sure to check out Spencer on her website and social media. My full review of Paper Wishes will be posted in a few days!

Aloha (Hello)!

 

V0qZSKF1

Hello! It’s me, Spencer Hoshino

It’s nice to meet you all! ヽ(*・ω・)ノ

I’m Spencer Hoshino, author of The Magical Girl Series. I am a 4th generation Japanese-American and a lifelong resident of the state of Hawaii, where I live with my husband and two children, thanks to my great-grandparents, who came to Hawaii decades ago to work on a sugar plantation. (I’m sad to share that the last sugar mill, the one my great grandparents and maternal grandma worked for, closed down late last year.) 

I was very honored when Ariana asked me to write a guest post for her (totally awesome) blog. I wasn’t sure what I could share with you all, so I decided to write about my publishing journey. I’ve never written a guest blog before, so I hope that you will all bear with me. (*/_\) 

 

Paper Wishes & Lucky Stars

 

Paper-Wishes-Coverjpg1

Paper Wishes’ original cover made for Swoon Reads. Image used with permission from Audrey Faith Lim

The road to finishing and publishing Paper Wishes (The Magical Girl Series, #1) was a long journey, but the catalyst was my mom’s passing. I’ve always struggled with depression, but my mom’s death put me in a dark place I’d never been before. I was struggling to cope, when a friend of mine, who is like a sister to me, that I hadn’t seen in years made a surprise return to our hometown after living in Japan for a while. We met up for dinner and caught up with each other.

During our conversation, she encouraged me to be happy. She asked me what I wanted to do, and I told her that I’d been trying to write a book for years, that I wanted to finish it and be a writer. After some introspection, I made the decision (with the support of my husband and children) to quit my job as a web developer and finish writing my book, which I later submitted to Swoon Reads.Although my book was not chosen for publication, I made many wonderful friendships with amazing writers, like Gigi McClure and Macy Filia, which was the best prize of all. (*^^*)♡ 

Digressing, despite the amazing connections I made through Swoon, I still had my manuscript that had no home. At Gigi’s urging, and with Macy’s support (thank you for all of your tips and tricks), I started posting Paper Wishes to Wattpad. Best. Decision. Ever. I lucked out! Paper Wishes was well received on Wattpad, gaining about 700,000 reads within the first year. Thanks to Wattpad (and Gigi and Macy), I was able to share my work with people and they were reading it! I was elated! After working on my book for so many years, I had readers! But, beyond that, I was able to connect with so many wonderful people and my readers became my friends. (ノ_<。)ヾ(´ ▽ ` ) I’ve been incredibly lucky to have the most fantastically supportive readers, whom I call Lucky Stars because I’m beyond lucky to know them. 

Self-publishing & Non-traditional Media 

17077659_1660237820952548_7530978386190008320_n

Paper Wishes 2nd edition with gifts

On the back of Paper Wishes’ success on Wattpad, I tried querying it to agents and boutique publishers with little success. At some point, there were three different boutique publishers considering Paper Wishes. Unfortunately, two decided to pass on it while I ultimately decided to pass on the third because I realized we weren’t a good fit. The thought of self-publishing was attractive because I would have complete control over my work and its design. I reached out to two of my favorite writers who had self-publishing experience, J.M. Wilde (The Eva Series) and Dan Garcia (The Succubus in a Red Dress Series), and they gave me a wealth of advice. (Did I mention how lucky I’ve been throughout this writing journey?) Having decided to self-publish, Paper Wishes was released on February 14th, 2016 as a Kindle e-book first, then as a physical copy a couple of weeks later. 

Aside from believing strongly in the possibilities of self-publishing, I am a huge fan of non-traditional media. I have so many apps, like Tapastic (now Tapas), Spottoon, and TappyToon downloaded into my phone. I love supporting creators and purchase new chapters/episodes on a weekly basis. I have been fortunate enough to be invited to share my work on Radish Fiction and Tapas (formerly Tapastic) apps. In September 2016, Meteor Garden was released as a serialized book on the Radish Fiction app. It is the companion novel to Paper Wishes and tells the story of Vilvian and Kai’s mothers, Maya and Eri, their friendship, and who Vilvian’s biological father is! ∑(O_O;) 

On February 14, 2017, the 2nd edition of Paper Wishes was released (much to my excitement) on the Tapas app. Upon releasing Paper Wishes on Tapas, I pulled the e-book from the Kindle store so that it would be exclusive to them. It has been such an honor to have Paper Wishes on Tapas. They are seriously the best, especially Editor-in-Chief, Gabby Luu, who has been so flipping supportive of me and my writing. (T▽T) 

A hui hou (until we meet again)!

So, that’s been my experience with writing The Magical Girl Series and publishing. While I think traditional publishing is great, and I love that there has been more awareness regarding diversity in publishing, in the end, I felt that self-publishing and non-traditional media were what would work best for me. I was very fortunate to have everything come together the way it did.

Aside from the support I received from my Lucky Stars and the friends that I’ve made through writing, I was also very lucky to be given the opportunity to share my work through non-traditional media, like Tapas. (Did I mention how much I love being a part of the Tapas Media Family? Because I do!) To any of my fellow writers, if Tapas Media reaches out to you about potentially publishing your work, I encourage you to seriously think about it. I have nothing but good things to say about them and hope to have other works published through their app in the future.) 

If any of you decide to give Paper Wishes a read, I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for giving it a chance. If you read Paper Wishes on Tapas or the unedited version on Wattpad, please be sure to comment and let me know that you found me through Ariana’s blog! 

♡ ~(‘▽^人)

Thank you so much for reading! And, an especially big thank you and hug to Ariana for allowing me to share a little about myself and my journey.

http://spencerhoshino.com

Guest Post: Author J.M. Sullivan

Today’s post is a guest post by the lovely J.M. Sullivan, author of Alice (The Wanderland Chronicles #1), which will be released on May 16th. I am so excited and honored to have this chance to work with her to promote her debut novel! Please make sure to check out J.M. and her novel on social media. My full review of Alice will be posted on Thursday!

JM Sullivan - smallHi everyone!

My name is J.M. Sullivan and I am beyond excited to introduce you to the wonders of Wanderland. After all, when I’m not busy teaching middle schoolers, wrangling my two small children, or supervising my cats’ antics, it’s my favorite place to be!

Even though I teach Science, I have always loved reading and writing. I have dabbled in several different projects, but nothing ever stuck until ALICE, which always makes me giggle. Because, see, the idea for Alice sort of hit me out of the blue. I was getting ready for bed one night after watching the latest horror movie on my husband’s Netflix list (we had been on a zombie kick), and the Red Queen’s iconic line flashed through my mind. You know the one I’m talking about: ‘Off with their heads!’

moretroubleWell, as any zombie aficionado knows, decapitation is one of the most effective methods of dealing with our undead friends, and it all just sort of clicked! I knew that I was going to do an Alice retelling with zombies. Within ten minutes I had a working outline of what I wanted each character’s role to look like and how I wanted to execute it. Then, it was time for the real work.

Going into ALICE, I knew that most importantly, I wanted to stay true to Carroll’s work. I’ve read books that claim they are retellings before but really only share a character name or maybe a place. I did not want that to be something said about my book.

catsSo, I went to the store and picked up a new copy of Alice in Wonderland and proceeded to tear it up. (Seriously, that poor book looks like a college textbook) I read the story and
used that as a guide to help my plot arc. Even my section titles are the names of chapters from the book. If I ever had a question about a name or how a character might respond, I went back to Wonderland. (Hopefully it shows).

Once I had my reference base squared I got to do the fun part—writing! With my set-up, I had a loose outline for a plot with tons of ways to work in Wonderland twists. It was so much fun seeing how Alice Carroll reacted to being placed in Wanderland and how the other characters influenced her story. I think that’s what I like the most about retellings, you can feel the magic of the original working itself into your own story. It’s a really cool feeling.

Alice Cover EditFinally, after three months of obsessive writing, I had my draft. It was the first completed manuscript I’ve ever had, and I was ready to send it out. At least I thought so. My publishing journey… oh man. But THAT is a story for another day. Needless to say, I found my AMAZING publishing company (shout out to Pen Name Publishing- woot!), and they shared my vision of bringing Alice to life.

So now, here I am, a little over a year later from the day I started writing, and Alice is about to be released into the world! It was a wild ride, but I honestly wouldn’t change any of it. I have been so blessed and learned so much, now my only hope is that Alice can mean as much to someone else as she does to me. Maybe it will be you! (I really hope so 😀 )

Thank you so much guys (especially to Ariana for so graciously inviting me to share her page), and of course,

Happy Reading!

____________________________________________________________

J.M. Sullivan is a Science Teacher by day, and an author by night. Although known to dabble in adulting, J.M. is a big kid at heart who still believes in true love, magic, and most of all, the power of coffee. If you would like to connect for a healthy dose of sparkle and positivity, you can find her on Twitter or Instagram @_JM_Sullivan.

Top 10 Tuesday – November 3rd, 2015

toptentuesday

Happy Tuesday, everyone! It’s time for the first Top 10 Tuesday list of November. This is an original weekly blog meme created over at The Broke and the Bookish. Each week, there is a new bookish topic for bloggers to create a list about. If you want to know more about Top 10 Tuesday, click here!

This week’s Top 10 Tuesday topic is either the top ten debut authors who have you looking forward to their sophomore novel, or the top ten sophomore novels that you loved just as much if not more than the author’s debut. I have had to put my own little spin on this topic because I actually have not read many debut authors recently. I have a sizeable number of 2014 and 2015 debuts on my TBR, but I’ve only gotten to a few thus far. However, in the past year or so, I have also discovered a lot of new to me authors whose debuts are the only works I have read by them.

So for today’s list, I’m going to list the top seven authors who are either recent debut authors I’m anticipating the sophomore novel of, or authors with already published sophomore novels that I am dying to read. The final three will be authors I’ve read whose sophomore novels I think are as good or even better than their debuts.

Now that we are all sufficiently confused, let’s jump straight into these lists! 🙂

Authors Whose Sophomore Novels I’m Dying to Read

fallingintoplace jackaby loveandotherunknownvariables hyperboleandahalf

1. Amy Zhang – Falling into Place

Amy Zhang is a 2014 debut author. I read this novel at the end of last year and was extremely impressed by it. Not only was it a very well told and skillfully constructed story, but I was also stunned to find out that this was written by a teenager! Her next novel is coming out in March and I am very interested to read more of her work.

2. William Ritter – Jackaby

Jackaby is a 2014 debut novel and I read it back at the beginning of this year. It is one of my favorite novels I have read in 2015 so far, and I’ve been very much anticipating the sequel, Beastly Bones, which was just recently released. It is definitely going to be one of my next reads.

3. Shannon Lee Alexander – Love and Other Unknown Variables

This is a 2014 debut novel that I read late last year and completely fell in love with. It took me by surprise because it is not the type of novel that I would generally enjoy, or even think to give a try to be honest. But it was fantastic and I loved Shannon Lee Alexander’s writing and storytelling style. I’m not sure if there is a sophomore novel in the works, but I certainly hope there is.

4. Allie Brosh – Hyperbole and a Half

I read this last year and absolutely loved it; this is one of the funniest books I have ever read. There is supposedly a second novel coming out (Solutions and Other Problems), but the date keeps getting pushed back, so I’m not sure if or when it is coming. At least I still have her blog to tide me over!

redqueen cinder legend

5. Victoria Aveyard – Red Queen

I feel like I have been talking about Red Queen and Victoria Aveyard a lot lately; and I know that is strange because I was not all that thrilled with the novel. However, I am still eager to read more of Victoria Aveyard’s work, because I thought her writing style was excellent. I’m still trying to decide if I will be reading the next novel in the series, Glass Sword, but I’m pretty sure I’ll be giving it a try at some point.

6. Marissa Meyer – Cinder

Marissa Meyer is not a recent debut author; Cinder came out in 2012. However, I just discovered her last year, and began The Lunar Chronicles at the beginning of this year. So far, I have only read this first novel, but I adored it and I cannot wait to continue on with the rest of the books (something I will be doing quite soon!).

7. Marie Lu – Legend

Marie Lu is another author whose first book is not a recent release, but so far I have only read her debut novel, Legend, after discovering it last year. I was hooked immediately and I soon got a box set of the entire trilogy. I need to get to the next book as soon as possible; I am dying to see what happens in the final two novels!

Sophomore Novels That Are As Good Or Better Than Debuts

hp2chamber catchingfire wonderstruck

1. J.K. Rowling – Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

This entire series is (obviously) absolutely fantastic all the way through. The Chamber of Secrets just so happens to be not only one of my favorite books ever, but my favorite of the series; it definitely had to make this list!

2. Suzanne Collins – Catching Fire

This is by far my favorite dystopian trilogy that I have ever read, and I’ve always found it incredibly hard to pick which of the novels is my favorite. Catching Fire was incredible, and is at the very least just as good as The Hunger Games. However, this may potentially be my favorite of the series; it’s just so hard to choose!

3. Brian Selznick – Wonderstruck

This is Brian Selznick’s second full novel and it is equally as good as his first, The Invention of Hugo Cabret. In fact, all three of his novels are absolutely spectacular; each one is a beautiful work of art. He is a very talented writer and artist, and easily makes this list!

Let me know in the comments which debut authors you’ve been enjoying this year and which sophomore novels you are dying to get your hands on!

-Ariana

logo2