Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Blog Tour: Author Guest Post and Giveaway

Today I'm so happy to be part of this fantastic tour. I want to thank Chapter by Chapter blog tours for letting me be part of this tour and I hope you all enjoy this amazing author guest post that author Tobie Easton wrote for you. I want to thank her as well for giving us a fantastic reply to my question! As well as the giveaway, which will be at the bottom of the post. Enjoy! 

Guest Post Topic: Day in the life or Plotter or Pantser

I have always been a plotter.  I spent A.P. Biology plotting my essays for my literature class (my bio teacher just thought I took really detailed notes).  I’m one of those writers who gets stuck if I don’t know where I’m going next.  It’s taken me a long time, but I’ve finally figured out that if I think I’m stuck on Scene A, I’m usually not.  I really just don’t know enough about Scene B yet, and once I puzzle that out, Scene A suddenly becomes clear.  That’s true on a larger scale, too; I need to know all the major plot points before I start writing.  How do I come up with those plot points? A lot of long baths spent staring at the ceiling are involved.

When I have that basic outline, I write a scene by scene outline that sometimes includes description or bits of dialogue that come to me.  The outline lets me know where the story is going and helps me fully grasp character arcs.  Once the outline is done, I start writing!  

So what does my day-to-day routine look like in a drafting phase?  I wake up and work out before I can think about it or talk myself out of it, usually while listening to a podcast or audiobook or watching an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.  Meanwhile, my husband walks our puppy Maple just in time for her to attack me with boundless energy when I finish my workout.  I shower, then make a large pot of tea and bring it upstairs with me.  I say goodbye to the husband when he leaves for work, then get Maple settled.  She falls asleep and I set a brainstorming timer for 30 minutes.

During those first 30 minutes, I listen to between one and three very specific songs on repeat that help me feel creative and fit the mood of my current work in progress.  For the Mer Chronicles series, it was “The Old Ways” by Loreena McKennitt, over and over, until just the hearing opening notes made me feel like it was time to write.  I listen to the music, sip my first cup of tea, and think about what I need to write that day.  If my mind starts to wander, I do my best to refocus it.  I’ll often read through my outline of the scene and then read the ending of scene I wrote the previous day.  I also use this time to set my wordcount goal in a little, virtual sticky note on my computer, then break it down into 250-word increments.  Focusing on those smaller pieces, one at a time, makes the goals seem much more achievable.  

When the timer goes off, I set it for another 30 minutes and start to write.  During those 30 minutes, I can’t check email or social media, I can’t watch YouTube videos or Netflix.  Nothing.  That’s 30 minutes of focus—to be interrupted by nothing and no one (except Maple, if she needs a potty break because puppies don’t care about deadlines, in which case, I pause the timer).  I write as much as I can in those 30 minutes and, since I’m not a fast writer, I count it as a success no matter how many words I’ve written provided I stayed focused the entire time.  When the timer goes off, I set it for 10 minutes and take a break.  This is when I can check anything online that I want, listen to some of a podcast, watch a short video, whatever.  I drink another cup of tea and recharge.  When the timer goes off, I set it for another 30 minutes. Repeat until lunch.

That’s my morning.  On good days, I can do that until about 12pm without being interrupted, but of course, sometimes things need to be shuffled around a bit.  At 12pm, Maple and I head downstairs and I eat lunch (well, breakfast—I’m trying out intermittent fasting right now, which I like so far).  After that, I catch up on authory business stuff like emails, interviews, marketing, etc.  And after that, I try to conquer all the other non-author stuff I need to do on a given day.  If I’ve managed to write enough in the morning that I’m satisfied with my wordcount for the day (1,000/words per day earlier in a draft and hopefully 2,000/words per day once I’m farther along in the draft and the pace picks up), then that’s a GREAT day.  If I haven’t yet, I try to incorporate some more writing sprints later in the day or evening.  On the best kind of day, I have time at night for a brainstorming bath that I can spend thinking about the shape of the book overall as well as what I’ll be working on in the coming week.

And there you have it.  I find that sticking to a set schedule really helps me get in the right mindset to write.  For me, the magic moments during drafting are the ones when the characters’ voices completely take over.  It’s a lot of hard work to get to those voicey moments, but they’re the absolute best.  So far, this is my process for getting there more often. Some days are much busier with non-writing work than others, and sometimes I’m lucky to get an hour or two instead of a whole morning.  When that happens, I find that falling back on my routine (the music, the tea, the timer) helps trigger my brain so I can get into a creative headspace faster.

Writing is so individual, and every writer needs to find what works for them.  I find I’m always learning new ways to make my routine more effective, so if you have any tips you’d like to share, I’d always LOVE to hear them.  Come find me on Twitter or IG (@TobieEaston) or email me via my website I hope this post gave you some insight into my routine and maybe even a few ideas you’d like to test out in your own!

Immerse (Mer Chronicles #3) by Tobie Easton
Publication Date:  March 19, 2019
Publisher:  Month9Books

Immerse is the spellbinding and breathless final installment of the Mer Chronicles series where descendants of the Little Mermaid must face deadly magic, shifting alliances, and the dangers of forbidden love.
Lia can’t wait for her parents’ coronation. Now living in the sparkling palace beneath the waves, she sneaks off to Malibu whenever possible to see Clay. Tucked away in an abandoned seaside mansion, Lia and Clay devise a plan to ensure they can stay together forever.
But when an old enemy resurfaces and Lia is restricted to the palace for the safety of all Merkind, she and Clay are ripped apart once more.
She fears not only for Clay, but for her best friend Caspian, who seems to be swimming down a dangerous path. He has invited the conniving Melusine to the coronation ball, convinced she’s capable of change. And no matter how hard Lia fights it, showing up on Caspian’s arm is just the start of Melusine’s insidious return to her life.
With threats Below growing more ominous by the day and a powerful ancient ritual looming, soon the two girls can’t escape each other. As their fates grow increasingly intertwined, Melusine might be the only one who can help Lia find the answers she desperately needs to save everyone she loves and to achieve her happily ever after. But can Lia trust her?

Award-winning author Tobie Easton was born and raised in Los Angeles, California, where she's grown from a little girl who dreamed about magic to a twenty-something who writes about it. Her debut novel, Emerge, is a Gold Medal Winner (Young Adult – Sci-Fi/Fantasy) of the Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards and is Book 1 in the acclaimed Mer Chronicles series. The trilogy follows the descendants of the Little Mermaid and offers fans a peek into a world where Mermaids aren't just real, but live secretly among us on land.
She and her very kissable husband enjoy traveling the globe and fostering packs of rescue puppies. Tobie loves chocolate chip cookies and Oxford commas. A summa cum laude graduate of the University of Southern California, Tobie splits her time between Los Angeles and Boston.
Learn more about Tobie and her upcoming books on

This giveaway is for a Starbucks giftcard, come on who needs some coffee? Good luck everyone.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I hope you all enjoyed this post, I know I loved sharing it with you. Again thanks for the tour company and to the amazing author. 

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