Tuesday, February 7, 2017

NYT besting selling author Brenda Drake talks writing advice, GUARDIAN OF SECRETS plus a chance to win an Amazon giftcard & Swag!

I'm SO excited to have New York Times bestselling author Brenda Drake with us today, chatting writing advice and her latest and Greatest, Guardian of Secrets, the second book in The Library Jumper series. And I gotta be honest -I'm totally fan girling over here.

If you don't know Brenda Drake, you need to. First of all, Thief of Lies, the first book in the series, is un-put-downable. If you haven't read it you need to drop everything you are doing and read it now (after you read the interview, of course 😉) Second, Brenda does a tremendous amount for the writing community, including leading Pitch Wars and Pitch Madness. I have Pitch Madness to thank for my agent, and I am one example of about a thousand writers she's helped. *bows down with gratitude*

I'll stop gushing and get to the questions. 😋 Don't forget to scroll to the bottom for a chance to win a $50 Amazon giftcard!

Thanks so much for coming to Thinking to Inking! We're so excited to have you! I've been following your blog for years--I'm kinda fan-girling over here. What you do for writers is tremendous - thank you x 1000!

Aww, that’s so sweet. Thank you for hosting me today!

Thank YOU for bring here. Tell us a little bit about Guardian of Secrets.

Well, it’s the second book in the Library Jumpers series. The Wizard Council sends Gia into hiding with her family, friends, and the Sentinels. Nick struggles to control his growing powers. Jealousies and mistrusts arise within the tight group. As Gia and Nick jump to some of the most stunning libraries in search for the remaining Chiavi, a new threat arises within the libraries. During one of their searches, Gia trips a trap door ends up in a wasteland full of danger and secrets. To return to her family and friends, Gia will have to make a sacrifice, one that will cost her someone she loves.

Who's your favorite character?
This is such a difficult question. All my characters are favorites. When I don’t like them, I cut them out or kill them. Ha! But seriously, I think it has been Gia in the Library Jumpers series. She’s a combination of many girls I love in my life. When I’m in her head, I can relive the joys I’ve had with my girls.

Was your writing process for Guardian of Secrets different for Thief Of Lies, the first book in the The Library Jumpers series, or your other books Touching Fate and Cursing Fate?

My writing process is basically the same for all my books. Before I start a story, I do short character bios and setting research. Next, I do a four-act plot graph. It’s skeletal and I only use it as a road map for the story. Then I write, letting the characters and inspiration lead me on that road, fleshing out the story as I go. Sometimes, I go off-road and take a detour, but the direction I’m going usually stays the same. After I have a first draft, I revise it.

Will there be a third book in the series?

Yes, there will be. I’m currently writing the final book, Assassin of Truths. It’s been a challenge, but I’m really loving the ending.

The covers for both books in the Library Jumpers Series are amazing! How much input did you get in the design of your cover and what was that process like?
My publisher is great at taking my vision of what I wanted my covers to look and making it even better. So I guess, I just had some input at the beginning and they took my ideas and worked with it, coming up with the beautiful covers. I absolutely love them!

What advice would you give writers still working to make their publishing dreams a reality?

Learn your trade. The best way to do that is to read and research how the publishing industry works. Write something every day. It doesn’t have to be much. Something as simple as a page a day would work, and you never know, by the end of the year, you’ll have written a novel. If you’ve finished that novel and are searching for an agent, never give up. Rejections can hurt, but don’t get discourage. Instead, learn from them. Keep writing and querying new stories until the right one clicks with agents. And learn patience—you’ll need it. Publishing is excruciatingly slow at times.

What advice do you have for authors working on writing book two in a series? Any tips or tricks you learned along the way that you can pass along to us?

Keep a series bible. This is where you put descriptions of all the characters in the series and all the settings. I also keep notes on what I need to tie up in the following books. Jot down notes and ideas for the next books as they come to you so you won’t forget them.

Gia from Thief of Lies and Guardian of Secrets can travel to libraries all around the world, which is pretty bad ass. If you could have any superpower, what would it be?

I would want the power to go back in time and visit my loved ones that have passed away.

Aw, I love that. What are you reading now?

I can’t say what I’m reading right now, because I’m judging for the RWA RITA awards. We’re not allowed to reveal which books we are judging. It’s top secret. I will say, it is something that I would have never have picked up for myself, and I’m loving it!

Favorite Writing Snack?

Coffee and Gold Fish crackers, but not together. Yuck! Or maybe not yuck, because I do eat the smore’s ones with my coffee.

Congrats on the launch of Guardian of Secrets. I can't wait to find out what happens to Gia next! And thanks so much for stopping by Thinking to Inking!

This was fun! Thank you so much for hosting me today.

About Guardian of Secrets:

Guardian of Secrets (Library Jumpers #2) by Brenda Drake 
Publication Date: February 7, 2017 

Publisher: Entangled Teen

Being a Sentinel isn’t all fairytales and secret gardens. 

Sure, jumping through books into the world’s most beautiful libraries to protect humans from mystical creatures is awesome. No one knows that better than Gia Kearns, but she could do without the part where people are always trying to kill her. Oh, and the fact that Pop and her had to move away from her friends and life as she knew it. 

And if that isn’t enough, her boyfriend, Arik, is acting strangely. Like, maybe she should be calling him “ex,” since he’s so into another girl. But she doesn’t have time to be mad or even jealous, because someone has to save the world from the upcoming apocalypse, and it looks like that’s going to be Gia. 

Maybe. If she survives.

Other books in the series: Thief of Lies (Library Jumpers #1)

Gia Kearns would rather fight with boys than kiss them. That is, until Arik, a leather clad hottie in the Boston Athenaeum, suddenly disappears. While examining the book of world libraries he abandoned, Gia unwittingly speaks the key that sucks her and her friends into a photograph and transports them into a Paris library, where Arik and his Sentinels—magical knights charged with protecting humans from the creatures traveling across the gateway books—rescue them from a demonic hound.

Jumping into some of the world's most beautiful libraries would be a dream come true for Gia, if she weren’t busy resisting her heart or dodging an exiled wizard seeking revenge on both the Mystik and human worlds. Add a French flirt obsessed with Arik and a fling with a young wizard, and Gia must choose between her heart and her head, between Arik's world and her own, before both are destroyed.

About Branda Drake

Brenda Drake is a New York Times bestselling author of Thief of Lies (Library Jumpers #1),
Guardian of Secrets (Library Jumpers #2), Touching Fate (Fated Series #1), and Cursing Fate (Fated Series #2). She grew up the youngest of three children, an Air Force brat, and the continual new kid at school. She hosts workshops and contests for writers such as Pitch Wars and Pitch Madness on her blog, and holds Twitter pitch parties on the hashtag, #PitMad. When she’s not writing or hanging out with her family, she haunts libraries, bookstores, and coffee shops, or reads someplace quiet and not at all exotic (much to her disappointment).

Giveaway Information: $50 Amazon Gift Card with Guardian of Secrets swag pack *International winners will only get $50 GC*


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