Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Finn Finnegan by Darby Karchut: Book Blitz and Guest Post


Finding Time to Write

People often ask me: how do I find the time to write books when I am working full time? I am tempted to tell them I have superpowers. Not true. My secret is that I write in spurts. Since I am a junior high teacher, I have had to develop time-effective strategies to get words on paper. Or, in my case, on my laptop.  

But, the most important thing you should remember is that you can always revise mediocre writing. You cannot revise a blank screen or page. So write. Every day. No matter what. Even if it is just a page or two. One page a day will lead to a book in a year’s time. Two pages a day will lead to a book in six months. It all comes down to following Nike’s advice: just do it. 

Here are some “tricks” I use to pound out a manuscript (and I must admit that the first draft is my least favorite part of writing. But I love revising and tweaking):
  • Write the ending first. That way, you know what it is your hero or heroine desire. Next, write the beginning. That way, you know where your hero or heroine is starting. Finally, fill in the middle, exploring how he or she overcomes obstacles to achieve his or her heart’s desire. Yes, that is a fairly simple outline, but it gives you a structure with which to begin, and will prevent you from writing yourself into a corner. 
  • Write whenever you have fifteen minutes of free time. Turn off the television and social media. Ask your family to give you a block of time early in the morning or in the evening. Write on your lunch break. Stay late at work a few times a week and write for one hour. Even getting down a few sentences will put you a few sentences ahead. Write your first draft with the full knowledge that you are going to be revising it over and over. Just get those words out of your head and onto the paper or screen. 
  • Read every young adult (teen) or middle grade (upper elementary through middle school) book you can get your hands on. The more you read, the more you will understand what publishers are looking for. And while you should not try to predict the next trend in publishing, you should be aware of what genres are over-saturated. For example, vampire books as well as dystopian stories have glutted the publishing marketplace for the last few years.  
  • Attend a writers’ conference, if possible.
  • The Internet has an incredible array of blogs and websites dedicated to writing for the middle grade or young adult market, as well as the publishing industry as a whole. A few of my favorites are 
Everyone has a story inside of them. A survey from a few years ago stated that over 85% of Americans want to write a book, but only a tiny percent actually do it. So, put your hands on the keyboard or wrap your fingers around a pen and go craft the story that only you can tell.

Finn Finnegan by Darby Karchut
(The Adventures of Finn MacCullen #1)
Published by: Spencer Hill Press
Publication date: March 12th 2013
Genres: Fantasy, Middle-Grade

Finnegan MacCullen: a thirteen-year-old apprentice with the famous Irish temperament.
Gideon Lir: a legendary Celtic warrior with a bit of a temper of his own.

Secretly, these blue-collar warriors battle the hobgoblins infesting their suburban neighborhood…when they are not battling each other.

Finn (not bleedin’ Finnegan) MacCullen is eager to begin his apprenticeship. He soon discovers the ups and downs of hunting monsters in a suburban neighborhood under the demanding tutelage of the Knight, Gideon Lir. Both master and apprentice are descendents of the Tuatha De Danaan, a magical race of warriors from Ireland. Scattered long ago to the four corners of the world, the De Danaan wage a two thousand year old clandestine battle with their ancient enemy, the Amandán, a breed of goblin-like creatures.

Now with the beasts concentrating their attacks on Finn, he and his master must race to locate the lost Spear of the Tuatha De Danaan, the only weapon that can destroy the Amandán, all the while hiding his true identity from his new friends, Rafe and Savannah, twins whose South African roots may hold a key to Finn’s survival.

Armed with a bronze dagger, some ancient Celtic magic, and a hair-trigger temper, Finn is about to show his enemies the true meaning of “fighting Irish.”

--Amazon  --B&N   --iTunes   --Kobo 
All her life, the archetypal hero and his journey have enthralled Darby Karchut. A native of New Mexico, Darby grew up in a family that venerated books and she spent her childhood devouring one fantasy novel after another. Fascinated by mythologies from around the world, she attended the University of New Mexico, graduating with a degree in anthropology. After moving to Colorado, she then earned a Master’s in education and became a social studies teacher. Drawing from her extensive knowledge of world cultures, she blends ancient myths with modern urban life to write stories that relate to young teens today. Darby is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators and the Pikes Peak Writers Guild. She lives in Colorado Springs, Colorado with her husband, where she still teaches social studies at a local junior high school. She enjoys running, biking, and skiing the Rocky Mountains in all types of weather. Her debut middle grade book, Finn Finnegan, released March 2013 (Spencer Hill Press). The next book in the series, Gideon's Spear (Spencer Hill Press), will be released February 2014. Her YA books include Griffin Rising (2011 Sharp Writ YA Book of the Year), Griffin's Fire, and Griffin's Storm. Visit her at:
Blitz-wide giveaway
Prizes (open US only):
-10 signed copies of Finn Finnegan

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