Sunday, March 29, 2020

~ MMGM FANTASY BE CAREFUL WHERE YOU WISH ~

~ MARVELOUS MIDDLE-GRADE
MONDAY FANTASY FEATURE ~
--  'BE CAREFUL WHERE YOU WISH'  --
AUTHOR LIA LONDON
~Post Includes:  Book Spotlight, Unique
Author Interview & Giveaway~





ABOUT THE BOOK:

Big adventures can happen in tiny places!


Lon likes science projects and history books. Livi would rather bounce on the trampoline and play with her dog. This brother and sister have nothing in common.

When Lon and Livi discover a wedding party of fairies in their back yard, they accidentally steal a magic wish. But they can't just give it back. No! Magic doesn't work that way. They have to go on a dangerous quest for three special objects, and the only way to survive is to work together. That's going to be hard for two siblings who barely get along.

Oh, and there's one more problem. They're only a few inches tall now!!

Buy Link: https://www.amazon.com/Be-Careful-Where-You-Wish-ebook/dp/B085BJXJSY

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:


Lia London started writing when she was about ten years old. Mostly she wrote funny skits for her classmates to perform in school. By the time she was a freshman in college, she wrote a one-act musical comedy for a local children's theater.

She spent many years as a teacher in public, private, and home school co-op settings, and enjoys being creative and rambunctious with young students. Now-a-days, she teaches martial arts to children (which has meant making online videos in recent days thanks to Covid19). Every day, she is inspired by the way children see the world.

London has a cat named Cookie and a dog named Rolo, and they have a back yard and neighborhood that look very very much like the one in the story.

CONNECT WITH THE AUTHOR:
Website: https://lialondonbooks.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/LiaLondon1

 

June: Welcome to 'Reading, Writing & Stitch-Metic', Lia. Congratulations on the recent release of your revamped middle-grade fantasy novel, 'Be Careful Where You Wish'!

June: Please tell us how you created your setting and developed the characters for this book. Do you plan for this book to kick-off a series or is it a standalone?

Lia: Since my own childhood days, I have always liked to daydream about what it might be like to be a few inches tall in a familiar place. How would everything change? What would be fun? What would be scary or difficult? That’s where the premise came from, and the story is consequently set in my own back yard. All the things described really exist in our neighborhood.

The main characters—two human children—are quite tightly based on my own children when they were little. The kids knew I would write a story about my daydream starring them someday, and I finally did.

June: Who is your favorite character in the story? Why is this character your favorite? Without spoiling the story, is there anyone in the story who you do not like? Why not?

Lia: In this story, the little sister Livi proves to be a lot of fun. She’s rambunctious and not quick to follow rules, but she’s also able to look on the bright side of situations and enjoy the wonder of new adventures.

I’m not particularly fond of Magenta, a flutterby fairy, who has a very negative sibling rivalry going with her sister Periwinkle. It makes her spiteful and reckless.

June: As I browsed your website in preparation for this interview, I discovered that you have written in the following genres: Children's Lit, Inspirational Non-Fiction, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Humor, and Romantic Comedies! Wow! Are there any other fictional genres you might want to try? What additional non-fiction subject(s) would you like to write about?

Lia: I’m eyeballing the whole dystopian genre that seems to have taken over the teen literature section. Also, I’d like to attempt a grand, epic fantasy novel. You know, the kind that acts as a doorstop or a dry flower press. Most of my books are on the shorter side of novel length, and I wonder if I could write an engaging enough story to keep readers turning for 400+ pages.

In the non-fiction world, I’m contemplating a short book with a title like Musings of a Middle-aged Ninja. It would talk about life lessons I’ve learned from my ten years of practicing and teaching martial arts.

June: What or who inspired you to become an author?

Lia: I was a latch-key kid growing up in neighborhoods that didn’t have a lot of other kids my age, so books were my most constant companions. The love of reading naturally spilled over into a love of storytelling, and I began writing humorous sketches in grade school. Writing never left my life from that time on.

June: When you write a book, do you outline the entire story, or do you have a different way of organizing your plot, characters, etc.? Do you always know the ending of your story before you begin putting things down on paper, or into your computer?

Lia: I’m a plotter/pantser hybrid. Usually, what happens is I’ll start getting ideas for a story. I open a document, give it a working title, and add “work pages”. The doc fills up with plot point ideas, character sketches, even bits of dialogue or key images.

Eventually, when I’m ready to work on the story for real, I print out the doc and cut it into the individual entries. Then I plop down on the carpet or clear the dining room table and stare at the pieces until a logical order starts to form. It’s not uncommon to see me assemble dozens of pieces of paper into piles and rows for hours at a time. Once I’ve sorted the ideas, I’ll create a bullet-point outline and start writing from there.

I typically know the beginning, a few big moments, and the grand finale, but the journey in between those points is left to the characters to dictate. I just start writing and let them take me along. If they get too far off the plan, I throw a course-correcting plot twist to nudge them back in the right direction—unless they had a better idea than I do, in which case I follow along, trusting! That sounds crazy, but writers know what I mean.

June: Please share the positives along with the challenges of being an indie author.

Lia: The biggest positive for me is the complete creative control. Yes, if I want to make bank, I need to play to market niches more, but the story is mine. The values are mine. No one is telling me to spice it up with more stuff that I consider yucky. And I can mix up genres, writing in several, and even combining them when it makes sense.

The biggest challenge is always the marketing. There are millions of books on Amazon. I can have a ranking in the six-digits, and I’m in the top 10% of writers. Five-digits = top 1%. But you need to be selling in those rankings or higher to be making any real money. It’s insane. You’ve literally got to beat out 99.9% of the books out there to make a solid living.

So, I don’t. Instead, it’s like a hobby that pays in fits and starts. Here a visit to Taco Bell, there a new patio set. Here a mani-pedi, there a vacation to Disney Land. It’s such a lava lamp of ups and downs. If you don’t accept that, you’ll be miserable. If you do, it’s like getting a windfall for doing something you’d do anyway because it’s therapeutic and fun.

June: You have taken a leadership role in the 'clean indie' publishing niche. Please discuss your reasons for and goals in launching the Clean Indie Reads Facebook group for indie authors and the Flinch-Free Fiction Facebook group and website which target readers who are interested in reading 'clean' fiction.

Lia: When I first ditched my corrupt publisher and went indie, I naturally wanted to find out more about what was happening in the self-published world of writers. I quickly discovered the wide disparity in quality, from gosh-awful-slop to holy-cow-wow-why-isn’t-this-a-movie-franchise-already?! Wanting to highlight the talented indies, I started a little book blog to feature the quality reads I found. Since I knew my most likely followers were going to be family and friends from church, I opted to stick to cleaner content. Thus, “Clean Indie Reads” was born.

Shortly after, one of the authors I’d featured suggested creating a Facebook group to help cross-promote. She already had a similar group going with a different niche, so she helped me figure out the ropes. Well, that little group exploded into a big group very quickly. Our focus evolved over time to one of support in the indie writing process, and I developed some amazing writer friends.

At the beginning of 2020, I opted to discontinue the book blog because it was taking a considerable amount of time and failed to yield the kind of exposure for my authors they needed and deserved. To market them more would have meant less time for writing, and I had to make a choice I could sustain.

In the end, I’m more proud of Clean Indie Reads and what we’ve accomplished in support for so many writers than I am for any of my books. Founding that group has changed some lives for the better, and that’s what I always want to do: empower others to be their best self.

[Note: The FlinchFreeFiction FB page has been discontinued because it wasn’t getting enough traffic to justify the effort.]

June: Thank you stopping by to chat with us for this Marvelous Middle-Grade Monday, Lia. We enjoyed learning about your career as an author and wish you much more success with your creative pursuits.




 


πŸ–ŠπŸ–‹πŸ“‚πŸ“•πŸ“—πŸ“˜πŸ“™✏️πŸ–ŠπŸ–‹πŸ“‚πŸ“•πŸ“—πŸ“˜πŸ“™✏️πŸ–ŠπŸ–‹πŸ“‚πŸ“•
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Find the links to read more great Marvelous Middle-Grade Monday posts from middle-grade authors and bloggers at Greg Pattridge's 'Always in the Middle' Blog.


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5 comments:

  1. What a sparkling interview! I have an author friend who loves having free creative control over her books and she does quite well! The marketing part would be overwhelming. I also enjoyed learning about the inspiration behind Lia's book. I immediately thought about the fairy rings (circles of grass that stand out) I used to find in nearby fields and woods as a child. I still keep my open for them as an adult. You'd be surprised at how many fairies are out there. So, this story would appeal to my imagination about what happens in a fairy community. Thanks for sharing todday!

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  2. Great discussion with the author. I loved her honest answers. The story certainly sounds like one kids would enjoy (along with a few of us MG Adults). Thanks for offering the giveaway and best of luck to Lia on her book.

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  3. I really enjoyed reading this post -- very informative and interesting.Thanks for telling me about this book. I'll put it on my TBR list.

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  4. I'd like to write a dystopian and high fantasy too. This sounds like a fun fantasy. Congrats to Lia!

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  5. Thanks for the very interesting post. I love the cover and the book sounds like a good one that kids would love.

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