How I Write A Book

Everyone has a different writing process.  Some people write faster than others.

1. Fantasize about a book idea.

Sometimes this is by coming up with bits of dialogue, or forming a sort of movie trailer in my mind.

2. Outline.

This is a brief plan of what is going to happen.  For example:

-MC goes to the store.
- Comes home and realizes she forgot to buy milk.
- Goes back to store.
-Money gets stolen.

There is nothing eloquent or rigid about this at all.

3. Write the first draft.

a.k.a. A Huge Mess of stuff I won't end up keeping.

4. Scream over said mess.


5. Read it.

I cringe the entire time.

6. Cry.


7. Rewrite everything.

Because books are always rewritten.

8. Read it...again.

What changes did I make again?  Ohhhhhh........................................right.

9. Hand it to beta readers.

This is terrifying and necessary.

10. Rewrite...again.

Major character changes.  Major plot changes.  Major changes to everything.

11. Read it over again.

What is this book about for the 3,457,348,024th time?

12. Line edits!

Is it really all coming together?!

13. Have someone read over it.

Make sure it is someone you trust.

14. Make final changes.

It's.  Almost.  Done.


WHAT ON EARTH DO I DO NOW?  My "baby" is perfect!


What is your process of writing a book?  How long does it take you to complete a book?  I would love to hear your thoughts!



About the Book

Albany York has a secret.

Albany and her twin sister, Brooklyn, have spent years successfully hiding their telepathic connection. But when a girl falls unconscious at their doorstep, the girls learn that they might not be the only people in the world with extraordinary powers and that a memory thief is on the loose. As the twins try to help the girl find her memories, they discover that the superhero world might be bigger—and more dangerous—than they ever imagined.

My Review

I started reading Twinepathy a while ago when C.B. Cook released it as a serial story on her blog.  It has two elements I love: superheroes and secret agents.  I knew I would love it.  You know what?  I did.

The Characters

Each character had a unique personality and superpower.  I love how Albany and Brooklyn are twins, but they are very different people.  Albany is more of the fangirl and Brooklyn is the "girly-girl".
One thing that I didn't particularly like was that Albany lied a lot.  This is key to the story, however, and part of her character arc...so...just be warned that it happens.  Blaze is 100% awesome.  Period.  I may or may not have a speculation of who he might be when he isn't on a mission for IDIA.

Overall, the characters were well developed and I liked them a lot.

The Plot

With so many superhero things flying around in today's society, it can be hard to actually come up with something unique.  I assure you, C.B. Cook did.  The superpowers were very original (at least, from what I am aware of).  And a bad guy stealing people's memories?  Very original.

To Sum it Up

I highly recommend Twinepathy!  If you don't believe me, know that I made a book trailer for it.  Here is the proof:

*Disclaimer* I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review.

If you would like to purchase Twinepathy, please click this link to go to Amazon.

Author Interview

Today I would like to welcome C.B. Cook to my little corner of the Internet!

Why did you decide you wanted to be an author? 

C.B. Cook: I think it was mostly because I loved reading and books so much. Then, when I was younger, I started writing stories on my own. One of my creative writing teachers really encouraged me to keep writing, as did a few after her, and I haven't stopped since! When I found out about self-publishing, I knew I wanted to go that route, since I prefer having control over aspects of my book.

What role does your faith play in your writing? 

C.B. Cook: My faith is very important in my writing. Even if I'm writing a story that doesn't mention God, like Twinepathy, I always ask myself if the story is glorifying God in content and topic. Would I want Jesus to read this scene, or would I want him to skip over it? That's something that's helped me throughout the writing and editing process. 

About how long does it take you to completely finish a book? 

C.B. Cook: It depends on the book! It usually takes me several months for a full novel. I started Twinepathy in September of last year and finished writing it in March. Then editing took me about three more months. So this book took me about nine months! That seems about average for me.

What is it like being a self-published author? 

C.B. Cook: It's rewarding, hard, exciting, terrible, and so, so crazy. I know it's crazy for all authors, but when you self-publish, you have to worry about publicity and marketing and covers and... everything. But it's also so rewarding because you can point to your cover and say "I made that!" and tell people, "I've sold such-and-such number of copies without a publisher!"

Coffee, tea, or neither? 

C.B. Cook: Neither, actually. I've had iced peach tea a few times, and that was pretty good. But all in all, I prefer lemonade, water, or milk.

What character (your own or otherwise) are you most like? 

C.B. Cook: Oddly enough, I don't think I'm much like Albany at all. I can't think of many characters that remind me of myself, except for Database from Twinepathy. For others' books, I can only think specifically of The Lord of the Rings... and then I'd say Merry or Pippin. I'm tempted to say Merry, because I'm sneaky and I know more about my friends than they'd think, most likely (honestly, when he was telling Frodo about all the spying he'd done...). But Pippin is mischievous, which is also like me. All in all, I'd probably be a hobbit! 

Thank you so much for joining me today!

About the Author

C.B. Cook is just a girl trying to find out where her King is guiding her, while writing the stories of the people she creates, the worlds she wants to live in, and the adventures she dreams about. Also known as a mysterious creature called an "author". She's a Christian and a home school graduate dedicated to changing others’ lives through the power of the written word.


Have you read Twinepathy yet?  What did you think?  I would love to hear your thoughts!


Post on Friday

Hello, my fabulous readers!  This week's post will take place on Friday!



The 5 Greatest Tools in Photoshop + How to Use Them

So, I'm sort of into making book covers right now.  I mostly use Photoshop, which is a fantastic tool for making them, among other fun things such as blogging graphics, and fun pictures!  (If Photoshop isn't an option for you, try GIMP, which is free, and does the same things with a very similar layout.)  Here are some of my favorite tools in Photoshop!

If you are new to Photoshop (or GIMP) and freaking out because it looks daunting and WHAT DOES ANYTHING DO, I have written a sort of introductory post here.

Okay, so you've made it this far.  Here's a bowl of virtual ice cream.  Here are some of my favorite (and most used) Photoshop tools.

Fonts from Dafont.com and misprintedtype.com

1. Blending Modes

The blending mode changes the look of the current layer in relation to the layers below it.  For example...........

Instead of this...
Click any of the photos to enlarge them.

You can change the blending mode so it looks like this:

Or this...

You don't just have to use this with text layers.  Try it with pictures, shapes, and with the brush tool!  Try using it to add more color to a sunset!  One thing to make sure of, however, is that your text is ALWAYS readable.

2. Surface Blur Tool

This is a really neat effect to make a picture look a bit like a digital painting.

3. Pressing "Control" "Shift" "ALT" "E"

This is a tool I use ALL THE TIME.  When you press "control" "shift" "ALT" and "e" at the same time, it will flatten the image into a new layer.  So, basically, you get a flat layer of what you are creating, plus you keep the layers of the image below it!

4. Magic Eraser Tool

The Magic Eraser takes away all of one color in a layer.  This is very handy for taking out a white background.

5. The Tool That Lets You Change the Shape of Text.

Yeah, I don't really know what it's actually called.  For this demonstration, I will be using a cover I made for Aimee Meester's Pariah.  (P.S. Aimee is awesome and you should TOTALLY check out her blog!)  (Also P.S. I made this cover because I wanted to.  I haven't read her book, but I did look at her Pinterest board.)

Step 1 - Make sure the text layer is rasterized.  You can do this by right-clicking on the text layer, and selecting the "Rasterize Layer" option.

Step 2 - Make sure are on the transform tool.  Then, click on your text on one of the little corner dot things.

Step 3 - Click on the icon I highlighted for you.

More dots should appear on the outline.  Now you can twist your text around to fit a shape or do whatever you want!
This is just an example of what you can do.  I promise
I didn't twist the text around this much on the actual

Here's my finished cover for Pariah.  :)
I know, it's not the greatest...but I tried. ;)


Have you ever used Photoshop?  What are some of your favorite tools?




May I present to you, the final cover in the Out of Time Trilogy by Nadine Brandes.


About the Book (Warning: Spoilers from previous books)

What more can you sacrifice than your life?

Parvin Blackwater is dead.
At least…that’s what the Council—and the world—thinks. But her sacrifice tore down part of the Wall long enough to stir up hope and rebellion in the people. Now she will rise again. Strong, free, and fearless.
Parvin and Solomon must uncover the mysterious clues that Jude left behind in order to destroy the projected Wall once and for all. Meanwhile, the Council schemes to new levels of technology in its attempts to keep the people contained. Can a one-handed Radical and a scarred ex-Enforcer really bring shalom to the world?

Other books in the Out of Time Trilogy

A Time to Die

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A Time to Speak

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a Rafflecopter giveaway

About the Author

Nadine Brandes learned to write her alphabet with a fountain pen.
In Kindergarten.

Cool, right? She dealt with ink splotches before even knowing how to spell. She never decided to become a writer. Her brain simply classified it as a necessity to life -- like bathing, eating, and sleeping.

Nadine is an adventurer, fusing authentic faith with bold imagination. She writes stories about brave living, finding purpose, and other worlds soaked in imagination.

When she's not taste-testing a new chai or editing fantasy novels, Nadine is out traveling, finding new music, and pursuing active life.

Website: http://nadinebrandes.com
Facebook: http://facebook.com/NadineBrandesAuthor
Instagram: http://instagram.com/NadineBrandes
Twitter: http://twitter.com/NadineBrandes 

Is this cover not absolutely incredible?  Please fangirl with me in the comments!


5 Things Writers Can Learn from "Captain America: Civil War"

First of all...HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY!  *cue Captain America gif*


Yes, I know I already blogged about what I thought about Captain America: Civil War.  But... a few weeks ago, I saw it again.  Yes, I might have a slight* obsession with MARVEL superheroes.  Hey, I can't help it that their stuff is MARVEL-ous.  (Bad pun, I know.)

*It's bigger on the inside.

Anyway, here are 5 things you can learn from watching Civil War.  *Warning.  This post contains Civil War Spoilers*

Shall we begin?

1. The villain doesn't have the goal of world domination.

Just think of Zemo. All he wanted was for the Avengers to pay for what happened to his family in Sokovia.  He didn't want to rule the world.  He just wanted them to see them suffer for what happened to his family.  He was a perfectly ordinary guy who went insane from grief.


2. Friends DO fight.  

Yup.  It happens to the best of us.  (No, I am not talking about Bucky and Steve fighting when Bucky is Winter Soldier-ing.)  I am talking about Steve and Tony.  They are such good friends, yet they disagree.


3. Do NOT put unnecessary kisses in your novel.

No.  Just no.  (Because this isn't really a tip, there will be a sixth.)


4. A character can have a change of heart.

One of the reasons I love T'challa so much is because he had a change of heart.  When he realized Bucky did not kill his father, he left him alone and even helped him.  Also, he did not have revenge on Zemo.
Click to enlarge.  (source)

5. Characters can have different opinions of right and wrong.

Team Cap and Team Iron Man each fought for what they thought was right.


6. Bonus Tip: Comic relief is good, especially if the plot has a lot of feels.

Basically Peter Parker, Scott Lang and that amazing Stan Lee cameo.



What other writing lessons are there in Civil War?  I would love to hear your thoughts!