Quicksilver (2013)

By: R. J. Anderson

The sequel to Ultraviolet follows Tori, the girl that Allison supposedly murdered. This time around, however, Tori finds out that she’s being hunted. The alien object that disintegrated her before, and brought her into space, could come back for her at any time. It’s a race against the clock to figure out a way to seal herself off from the people trying to destroy her.

I’m not a huge fan of book sequels changing P.O.V.s from the protagonist. However, I gave this book a chance. I have to say, it was just as good as its predecessor. The world was artfully created. It’s a highly accessible sci-fi. Definitely read it.

2018 Reading List

The last time I’d been looking for a book to read, and I was browsing the shelves of my local library, I found myself looking for a book I’d read but couldn’t remember the title of. It was frustrating, perusing the shelves to find that book. Made even more so by the fact that I nearly checked out a book I’d hated, simply because I couldn’t remember the titles.

So, last year, I decided to keep track of all the books I’d read, and then whether I’d enjoyed them. I started a list in a journal I had sitting around, and even went so far as to start writing reviews.

Most, if not all, of these are YA novels, because I tried this new thing where I went in alphabetical order at my library and just picked up books I thought looked interesting. This was following a dry-spell of reading that stemmed from my irritation of YA books all having the same plots and tropes.

I found some awesome books, and some authors that I will follow forever. Click on the titles for author info and a short synopsis/review.

  1. Phantom of the Opera
  2. Outlander
  3. Enclave
  4. Paper Towns
  5. Outpost
  6. Horde
  7. Famous Last Words
  8. The Best Night of Your (Pathetic) Life
  9. The Keeper’s Tattoo
  10. Haters
  11. Ultraviolet
  12. Quicksilver
  13. Avalon
  14. Polaris
  15. The Gathering
  16. The Masked Truth
  17. The Pearl Savage
  18. The Savage Blood
  19. The Savage Principle
  20. The Island
  21. Scion of Conquered Earth
  22. The Boys Start the War
  23. The Boys Return
  24. Harley Merlin and the Secret Coven
  25. Harley Merlin and the Mystery Twins
  26. Harley Merlin and the Stolen Magicals
  27. Harley Merlin and the First Ritual

Advice about KDP Formatting

One of the most time-consuming things when working to self-publish a book, outside of the writing itself, has to be formatting. It’s not that the task is particularly difficult, per se, but every little change you make alters the format, which could throw the entire document off kilter. I’ve discovered a few things that make it all easier, for when you’re finally ready to sit down with Kindle Direct Publishing and do the damn thing:

1. Instead of using a page break when you finish writing a chapter, use the next page option. In Word, just click on Layout, then breaks, and scroll on down to where it says Next Page. This makes the next chapter a new section, and, in turn, makes it a lot easier to format headers and footers when you finally get around to numbering your pages and adding titles to the chapters.

2. Speaking of headers and footers, I find it a lot easier to completely format a manuscript before you decide to add page numbers and headers. That way, you’re not throwing off the numbering or section headings if you end up changing chapters. If you have a little checklist, make the page numbers the next to last thing you do.
3. In the past, I self-published once every year-and-a-half, which makes it difficult to remember exactly what I did previously formatting-wise. So, instead of bumbling around every time, trying to remember exactly how you made it so the text wouldn’t bleed onto the next page when formatting an eBook, create a document and keep track of things you do. Just in case.
4. Following that line of thought, the upmost important thing when self-publishing, regardless of what platform you use, is to be organized. Keep track of everything you do, so if something goes wrong, you know exactly what happened.
5. And finally, just have a good time! Self-publishing can be taxing and time consuming, but at the end, you get to see the fruits of your labor. Keep that in mind for when you’re squinting at your computer, feeling like you’d like to punch KDP in the face if they make you launch the previewer one more time. It’s your baby, and totally worth it.

Monday Writing Blogs

Welcome to the first Monday blog of 2019! Over the years, I've been asked advice about self-publishing and writing. I once held a seminar-type meeting for the creative writing club at UF dedicated to discussing the inner workings of novel writing.

I figured it would be a good idea to start writing some of that advice down! So, peruse the blogs every Monday for some good, old-fashioned advice. But remember, everyone's way of working is different. If you have a better way of doing things, let me know!

Happy writing!