Childe Blog Tour

I am lucky to have C. A. Kunz on the blog today. Here they are to tell us a little bit about the co-writing process.

OUR WRITING PROCESS

The very first question anyone ever asks us when they find out that we’re a mom and son author duo is, “How do you guys write together?” People always seem to be fascinated by our answer and can’t seem to wrap their heads around how exactly we go about it. We first must point out that it’s not an easy process. It has taken a lot of work, determination, and patience to get to the point we’re at now. One of the biggest pluses for us is that we have a lot of fun writing with each other and bouncing ideas off one another. With the fun though, also comes several pitfalls that we believe we’re now able to avoid since we’ve gotten so used to each other’s writing styles. We’ve actually been known on occasion to be able to anticipate what the other one will write or think next…yeah, kind of scary, we know!
So speaking in terms of our writing process, believe it or not the first thing we do before we even begin to write the actual story is we make an outline of the entire novel. Yes, you heard right, we make an outline for the ENTIRE novel. We have to though, because with two people writing we have to know where we’re going in terms of the story. If both of us just decided to write free flowing, we’d end up with two different incoherent stories that wouldn’t mesh when we tried to put them together.
In the beginning, the outline is sort of bare and has only a title for each chapter and bullet points of the main story elements. Then we sit down and discuss each chapter individually and begin to fill in with more detail. As we begin to write though, we let the story naturally fill in the gaps that are still in the outline. Oh, and since we’re on the subject of when we begin to write, it’s interesting to note that we actually roll dice to see who will have the daunting task of tackling the first two chapters. As most writers know, getting through those first chapters can be the hardest part of the entire writing process, hence the reason for rolling dice.
Once we’ve decided who will take on the beginning of the story, and after that person has finished those chapters, we begin to trade off two chapters at a time until we reach the end of the first draft. It is interesting to note that as we finish our chapters, both of us read/edit each other’s work as we go and then continue on.
Next, is the ever-so-painful task of holing ourselves up in Carol’s office to sequester ourselves for a few days of non-stop editing. After we finally finish our first run thru with edits, Adam leaves for home and works on any additions we’ve decided to add to his chapters and Carol works on hers until we feel we need to get together and edit once more.
Our first book, The Childe, seemed to take forever to edit whereas the second book, Dark Days, was much easier due to the fact we worked out most of the pitfalls we fell into while writing our first book.
So, after we’ve driven ourselves nuts with edits, and when we feel we’re at a point where it’s time for the review of our manuscript, we give it to a select few critics to work their magic. Oh the pain of a stinging critique, but unfortunately it is a very necessary pain. Our reviewers are an eclectic group of people. One only reads autobiographies and crime stories, and is a classic car lover/collector. One doesn’t really read at all, and is an engineer (very analytical and critical mind, this one). The last one is quite the Harry Potter nut, and has read so many YA novels that he has lost count. All of them are extremely critical and pull no punches, but believe it or not we like it that way! It usually takes a month or two to gather up all their notes and for these three to do their ‘stuff’. Then yet again we shut ourselves in the office and hammer out the details. Then we send our final draft of the manuscript to our editor, who goes through it with a fine tooth comb, trying to find any little mistakes that are left over.
The moment our final editing session is finished, and we’ve included all the corrections from our editor, Adam begins to work his magic and formats the book by adding all the illustrations (done by none other than Carol’s husband and Adam’s father, Robert Kunz) and checks the manuscript obsessively until it’s just the way we want it. Then, after a long and arduous road, the book is finally ready for print.
The second most popular question we get asked all the time is, “What are you working on right now and what do you plan on doing in the future?” In terms of our writing and future projects, we’re trying to focus on young adult literature. Our first series, The Childe series, is a young adult/middle grade paranormal fantasy, but we’re also currently working on another series that will be a dark futuristic paranormal with a twist of romance thrown in for good measure. The reason we decided to start our author career with a paranormal series was because the two of us share quite a fondness and complete love for everything supernatural. Not to mention that writing for young adults is just so much fun, and we’ve had an absolute blast doing it. It was easy to see what genre we were going to choose when we decided to write our first novel. Who doesn’t like a little teen angst (not too much though) mixed in with werewolves, vampires, witches, zombies, and other creepy or magical creatures that stimulate the imagination?

Here is a little bit about the novel.

Cat Colvin
Average teenager?
Or something else entirely?

Cat Colvin is pretty much your typical run-of-the-mill teenager. Sure, she’s taller than most girls, has a mane of fiery red hair that’s impossible to tame, is left-handed, and her eyes are two different colors, but that’s where the differences end . . . unless you include the minor detail of her slow transformation into a Childe.

High school can definitely be challenging, and for Cat it’s no different. This is especially true when she’s faced with the daunting task of trying to hide her budding Childe traits as they begin to reveal themselves at the most inopportune times. To make matters worse, her family is oddly dead set against Ryan, the boy she grows to like. But everyone has their secrets: is Ryan really what he seems to be, and what is Cat’s family not telling her?

The Childe is the first book in this coming-of-age fantasy series which follows Cat’s life through the twists and turns toward finding out whom and what she really is. Come and take the plunge with Cat into a world filled with mystery, biting humor, and the paranormal.

Book 2: Dark Days

Surviving tenth grade is the least of Cat Colvin’s worries.

Cat Colvin wants more than anything to just be an “average” teenager and blend in, but having found out the secret of her adoption has Cat questioning her entire life. Unfortunately, there are much deeper and darker secrets being withheld from her that may prove to threaten her very existence. Cat will be forced to make a choice: stay in Astoria and possibly endanger all that she loves, or flee and hide amongst her kind.

Friendships will be tested, family bonds will be tried, and even Cat herself will be pushed to her limits both emotionally and physically; all while trying to maintain a somewhat normal relationship with her boyfriend Ryan. What is actually going on in the quaint port town of Astoria, and are Cat and her loved ones prepared for the dark days that loom ahead? Find out in this continuation to the *”…thrilling, unputdownable story,” The Childe.

*Meera Patel -RT Book Reviews

About the authors:

Carol Kunz was born in New Ferry, England. Her interest in the supernatural was first sparked upon reading Bram Stoker’s Dracula at the age of eleven. As a teenager, her fascination with the mythology behind vampires, werewolves and witches continued. Being an avid reader, Carol finds it easy to spend several hours wrapped up in a great fantasy novel.

Adam Kunz was born in Newport News, Virginia. Growing up, he was a huge fan of creature features and books about things that go bump in the night. When he’s not busy writing, Adam enjoys his job at a certain theme park in Orlando, Florida as a décor consultant. This job brings him face to face with all sorts of nightmarish creatures, especially when he decorates the haunted houses for the park’s annual Halloween event.

Carol and Adam currently reside forty-five minutes away from each other in the sunny state of Florida.

Some links:

Goodreads The Childe Series: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/10755377-the-childe
Goodreads : http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4707967.C_A_Kunz
C.A. Kunz’s Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/C.A.Kunz11
The Childe Series Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheChilde
C.A. Kunz’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/AuthorCAKunz
THE CHILDE on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/The-Childe-Book-C-A-Kunz/dp/0615435742/ref=tmm_pap_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1343769128&sr=8-1
DARK DAYS on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Dark-Days-C-A-Kunz/dp/0615563538/ref=tmm_pap_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1343770025&sr=1-1

There is also a giveaway provided by C.A. Kunz!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Dark Unwinding Blog Tour Finale!

Thank you so much everyone for such an amazing tour!

There are a few giveaway’s still going on that you can check out here:

Book Thoughts by Marielle

The Ninja Librarian

Through the Looking Glass Reviews

Katies Book Blog

If you missed any of the stops on the tour you can check them all out here

Thanks so much to Sharon and Scholastic for an amazing tour!

Throwback Thursday #10

Throwback Thursday is a weekly meme hosted by The Housework Can Wait and Never Too Fond of Books.

It’s the nature of book blogging to focus mainly on new releases, but there are thousands of great books out there that haven’t seen the “New Releases” shelf in years. We hope to be able to bring attention to some older titles that may not be at the top of the current bestseller list, but still deserve a spot in your To-Be-Read pile.

First I must gush so much over the new covers! The book that I have is really old, Leaving Fishers was first published in 1997.

Now I have a little story to tell. Back in December 2008 I moved from Michigan to Tennessee halfway through my senior year of high school. I was in a new town, state, and school, in a culture dominated by a religion I had never encountered in Michigan. On my second or third day of school I met a girl named Erin. We became friends very quickly, so quickly that after just a few weeks of knowing each other she invited me to go to a church camp at a cabin for the weekend. The problem with this was I had just read Leaving Fishers during Christmas break.

Leaving Fishers is about a high schooler named Dorry, the youngest in her family and the only child still living at home, who is forced to leave everything she ever knew behind when her father gets a new job. Feeling ostracized in her new school she jumps at the opportunity to become friends with Angela and her friends. Dorry’s new friends are all members of the Fishers of Men, a new religious group that she falls victim too.

Leaving Fishers is such an incredible tale of one girl struggling to find her place in the world and becoming victim to a viscous cult that forces her to change everything about herself. It was so amazing to be able to read exactly how people fall into these traps. Dorry is an innocent girl who isn’t comfortable enough in herself to say no to these girls. How many people are just like her? A lot. I know I am. Everyone can relate to Dorry’s struggle, this is a universal struggle. Trying to find out who you are is one of the hardest things you can go through. Maybe, that’s why I love this story so much. Because it’s relatable.

I really believe that this book is important to read, there are a lot of valuable lessons.

When Ya Know, Ya Know

As a blogger, and a person, I have realized that I am always striving to do everything right. I have learned recently that doing everything right doesn’t always mean it’s…well, right. Since I have started this site and began reviewing I have always turned to other bloggers to see what to do. I have done what they have done. Reviewed and rated as they have. I have also been terrified to do something wrong, to say the wrong thing, to give the wrong review/rating.
It’s a hard thing to do sometimes, stand on your own two feet. I was a lone blogger for a few months before I began making other blogger friends, mainly those in Tennessee and some in Georgia. After that I had an amazing group of people all willing to help each other out! Blogging wasn’t such an isolating hobby after all! Even after that I still had such a hard time finding my own groove.
Figuring out the ratings was one of the hardest for me. To me a three star was bad, but then if you head over to Goodreads you will discover that it actual means “I liked it” huh. So now those dozens of books that I felt bad giving 3 stars to so I gave a 4 star could actually have been 3 star and it would have be okay? The first time I gave a three star to a book I felt so incredibly bad. I felt so bad that I actually wanted to rate it 4 stars and but my soul wouldn’t let me. I just couldn’t in good faith give it anything besides a 3 star, but I still felt horrible. So I wrote the review, posted it, and…everything was fine. The world didn’t explode and come crashing down on me like I thought it would.
I made it over that crisis and began rating book on a 3-5 star scale pretty honestly. Then came a 2 star book. Once again I was forced into inner turmoil. Do I attach a 2 star to this book and risk the wrath of the world or do I give it a 3 star and then bring down my rating integrity? What to do!! I voiced this battle to another blogger, Marla, and she told me to rate it honestly. So I did. And again, the world went on.
And then came the dreaded one star. This particular book was almost a ‘Did Not Finish’ but I pushed through and boy was it painful. I have never had a more painful experience reading a book. At times I felt like it was sucking my soul out. So I turned once again to Marla and her words went something like this, “If it feels like it’s killing something deep within you, 1 star. If you feel like you have been better had you not read it, 1 star.” That was it. I agonized internally over whether or not to post a review, the author had sent me this book to review and I am sure she wasn’t going to be looking for a one star review. So I decided not to post it.
If there are any new bloggers reading this right now that moment was a huge moment for me and you will have the same moment one day too. I had to put my big girl pants on do what was right, what was really right. People go to book blogs for an honest opinion. They don’t read blogs to see people sucking up to authors. I could not in good faith give this book a 2 star when I know it wasn’t anywhere near the level that my other 2 star was. I couldn’t bring down the other book by rating it the same as this book. So, I had to give it a 1 star and then I decided I had to post it to keep my integrity. Then I ran for shelter and waited for Armageddon to start. After a few minutes I poked my head out from under my bed, saw my room still standing, and realized that it was fine. I gave my honest opinion, was respectful, and followed my instincts. You can’t go wrong with that.

I am still learning a lot about blogging and how to be successful but most importantly I am still learning to be myself and not copy any other blogger. Lauren taught me that as a blogger it is my job to promote books by posting about them on my website. I don’t have to be super professional or robotic, I just have to promote. And you know what? The first review I wrote after that was one of the funnest ones. I loved the book and I loved the review just as much. I finally felt like it was an accurate description of how much I love the book.

So at the end of this long blathering post I can say that I have finally come to a place in blogging here I am able to be myself, or at least begin to be myself. Hopefully any new bloggers will be able to take good things away from this and veteran bloggers will be able to offer advice. YA book blogging is a really great community and I am so happy to be part of it.