National Writing Day

Hey everyone, welcome back to the blog! And you’re joining me on a very exciting day – it’s National Writing Day! It is the first celebration to help collaborate the arts and the many literacy organisations across the UK. The creators are hoping to encourage more people to write, as well as get others involved with literacy across many of the schools. For some people though, this is a chance to start pushing out new stories, try their hands at poetry, or to simply continue with what they are already writing.

I thought for today I would share with you five pieces of writing advice that continue to inspire me as a writer. These are in no particular order and I hope you enjoy!

Stephen King: “If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot.”stephen-king-on-writing-d1d225f2c6e25fcd45dce87de1f77d4d6e695e5f

J. K. Rowling: “What you write becomes who you are… So make sure you love what you write!”no-jk-rowling-isnt-writing-another-harry-potter-book--heres-her-response-to-fans.png

George R. R. Martin: “I believe that a writer learns from every story he writes, and when you try different things, you learn different lessons.”georgerrmartinbooks

Sarah J. Maas: “You’ll only make it if you have a story that you love with your entire heart and soul, and the only person that can ever make you stop writing is you.”IMG_7093

Neil Gaiman: “You sit down at the keyboard and you put one word after another until its done. It’s that easy and that hard.”gaiman-writing-630px

So there you have it – five writing quotes from some of my favourite authors. Let me know what writing advice or tips inspire you, and most importantly, happy writing!

– ReadWriteZoe.

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Books I Unhauled #1

Hey everyone, welcome to the first book unhaul on this blog – something I’m actually really nervous about! As you might have guessed by now, books are very important to me, and once upon a time, I would never have parted with them, no matter how bad they were. Now though, I feel more relaxed about the whole situation. I donated plenty of books so without further ado, let’s get on with the unhaul.

Sookie Stackhouse Southern Vampire Mysteries box set by Charlaine Harris. I bought this collection when I was at the height of True Blood mania, and when I was getting frustrated with the library not having the rest of the series to borrow. The collection contains the first nine books in the series, as well as the short story collection, A Touch of Dead. I’m unhauling these because I don’t really have an interest in them anymore, and if I do want to read the rest of the series, I can always borrow them from the library.

Angelology by Danielle Trussoni. I got this book a while ago from my mum, and have tried to pick it up plenty of times, but there’s something about the writing that I couldn’t get into. I thought it would be much more linked to romance and paranormal adventures, but unfortunately, it is much more of a thriller, with an emphasis on religion. This isn’t really for me, so it was time to say goodbye!

The Queen of the Tearling and The Invasion of the Tearling by Erika Johansen. I bought the first book (Queen) near Christmas one year, and thought it sounded a real adventure, with a feisty female lead. I was wrong, and struggled to get through it, but I did manage. I gave the book the benefit of the doubt and bought the second (Invasion) to continue the series. I thought it wasn’t interesting, and the whole concept of switching between past and present not only confusing, but lacklustre. Some of the description of the past made it sound like a retelling of Margaret Atwood’s classic, The Handmaid’s Tale, which I really enjoyed. I couldn’t get into the series, so decided to give it away.

Pearl of China by Anchee Min. I bought this book a while ago, when I was on an Anchee Min kick. I have really enjoyed her previous historical novels based on the last Empress of China, and also her novels about the infamous leader, Chairman Mao. This novel does feature history and political activism, but every time I picked it up, I just couldn’t get started. I couldn’t even get past the blurb. There was something about it that prevented me from actively reading it, and so I gave it away, completely unread.

The Courtesan and the Samurai by Lesley Downer. I have only just found out that this is the third book in The Shogun Quartet series. I don’t know whether the books follow on from each other, but I found I had little interest in the tale now. When I read the blurb again, I found that I didn’t care about the characters described. The plot followed similar ideas that exist already, and although I have a huge interest in the country, I felt that it was almost too typical of a historical romance. I gave it away, completely unread.

Red Lotus by Pai Kit Fai. I bought this a while ago, not long after reading Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden (one of my favourite novels). It did sound like something I would enjoy, but the more I read the blurb, the more I thought it was a boring plotline. A girl runs away from home to prevent cultural practices occurring and continues on her journey to be something more – almost Mulan in reverse, I suppose. Reviewers have said that it borrows heavily from Memoirs, which has a focus on Japanese customs. Red Lotus is based on Chinese culture, and both differ greatly, although there are some similarities. I gave it away, completely unread.

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So that completes my first unhaul. All of these books were given to charity. Let me know what book/books you have unhauled lately, and if you have any recommendations, please feel free to let me know!

– ReadWriteZoe.

Book Blog Newbie Tag

Hey everyone, welcome to the first tag post on this blog! I’ve been looking to do one to introduce you to more of my bookworm side! I’ve already mentioned my love of books previously, but most of the tags I found online were more suited to BookTube (YouTubers who post about books, if you didn’t already know). I found this on Monica Shastri’s blog, and thought I’d give it a whirl!

Why did you start this blog? I wanted a new place to go, where I could post about my love of books, as well as writing. I thought it was a perfect time to do so, especially as I’m re-entering the publishing world with my novel VRES: Digital Questavailable for pre-order now. And I was just point blank scared to start a YouTube channel!

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What are some fun and unique things you can bring to book blogging? I sadly don’t think I’m original enough to be that fun and unique, but I’m going to bring honest reviews, hauls/unhauls, DNF’s and lots of writing related content!

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What are you most excited for about this new blog? I’d love to connect more with the book community, as well as showcase my writing. I’d like to show I go about the process, like outlining and character creation. Some might find that interesting! It’s the type of thing I like on YouTube.

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Why do you love reading? Reading for me is a chance to escape the boring, the mundane, and to enter a world where I can forget my troubles. Words have the power to transport us to places we’ve never dreamed of – that’s why I love reading.

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What questions would you ask your favourite authors? I’d ask about their writing processes, where their ideas come from, that sort of thing! Stuff that’s probably been asked before!

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What challenges do you think starting a blog will be the hardest to overcome? Creating good enough content – you want readers to enjoy what you’re putting out. Some days you’re going to get upset over your content, or what people have said, and that’s all related to being confident enough in our abilities.

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When did you start reading? I was really young – my parents would take me to the library, or I’d read with my family. I was one of the nerdy kids at school who loved the book corners and silent reading time…

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Where do you read? I will read anywhere, and everywhere. I’ll read in every room in my flat, I take books to university and to appointments. I will read while I’m travelling or on holiday. I’ve always got a book on me, wherever I go!

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What kind of books do you like to read? I love fantasy books, and all variations like paranormal, or urban fantasy. The thing is though, I’ll read anything and everything from historical fiction to crime. I don’t mind if its young adult or adult, I’ll read it! And of course, can’t forget graphic novels and manga volumes!

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So that completes my first ever tag! Please feel free to do it yourself – it really makes you think!

– ReadWriteZoe.

Library Haul #1

Hey everyone, welcome to the first ever book haul on this blog. This is so exciting! I am an avid reader, as you’re going to find out pretty fast. On Thursday whilst I was in town, I thought I’d pop into the library and see what was available. Libraries are so important and will always have a special place in my heart. And no one can forget the immortal line in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets:

“Because that’s what Hermione  does,” said Ron, shrugging. “When in doubt, go to the library.”

If libraries are good enough for Hermione Granger, then they’re good enough for me. I borrowed five books, so without further ado, let’s get on with the haul.Book Hauls

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness. I’ve heard nothing but good things about this book and I was excited to pick it up, especially since the film adaptation came out last year. The book follows a young boy, Connor, who has to deal with his mother’s terminal cancer. He is alone, he is bullied, but every night he is visited by an ancient elemental creature. This is the monster who calls. The monster decides it will tell Connor stories about when he was previously summoned. The novel is a children/young adult fantasy. What is really heart warming about this novel is that Patrick Ness adapted this from an idea from author Siobhan Dowd, who was suffering from cancer herself, and died before she could write it. I can’t wait to pick this up!

The next book I got was Destined to Play by Indigo Bloome. I’d never heard of this book, but have read similar stories in the past. The book follows Alexandra Blake, a psychologist, who starts to discover more about herself and her relationships. Alexandra meets Dr Jeremy Quinn, a man who is about to seduce and captivate her. The novel is an adult romance, and I’m going to assume it’s going to be highly sexually charged. What I’m a little nervous about though, is that the blurb does say, ‘If you liked 50 Shades of Grey‘. And I really did hate 50 Shades… This is the first book in the Avalon series, so we’ll have to see what happens.

Next up is The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes. I picked this up because I was in love with the cover – it’s simple, yet it’s so intriguing. I just really liked it. The novel follows a drifter called Harper, who is able to time travel after he finds a key to a mysterious house. After finding out he can use the house to travel, he starts to kill ‘the shining girls’ – girls who have bright potential. He stalks them through different eras, until one victim, Kirby, surives and decides to hunt the killer back. The novel is an adult thriller, with lots of science fiction twists. I’m really curious to find out more about Harper and his girls, so this should be an interesting read.

The next book I picked up was Blood Vow by J.R. Ward. This is the second book in the spinoff Black Dagger Brotherhood series, The Black Dagger Legacy. The novel follows vampire fighter, Axe, who is assigned to guard aristocratic female, Elise. Both Axe and Elise have tragedies in their lives, yet there is a deep physical connection between the two of them. The novel also has a subplot with Brotherhood member, Rhage and his wife Mary. Rhage is set to fight against a new part of his destiny, and save Axe from secrets that may tear him apart. The novel is an adult paranormal romance, and I honestly can’t wait to read it. I’m a huge fan of J.R. Ward’s work, so I’m hoping for good things.

And lastly is The Angels’ Share by J.R. Ward. This is the second novel in the Bourbon Kings series which follows a Southern family who own a bourbon distillery, and their lives are going to start shifting dangerously. The novel follows members of the Bradford family after the death of their patriarch. Everyone is suspected, with their own motives, but more problems arise when their finances may put them on the brink of ruin. The novel is an adult family saga, with a dash of romance. The Bourbon Kings series is very different from J.R. Ward’s other work, but I’m still curious as to what will happen to this privileged, yet troubled family.

Library Haul #1

So that completes my first library haul. Let me know what book/books you have hauled lately, and if you have any recommendations, please feel free to let me know!

– ReadWriteZoe.

Getting to Know You…

Hey everyone, as a welcome post to this new blog, I thought I would share with you twenty facts that you may, or may not, know about me. This post is quite self-explanatory, so without further ado, let’s get on with the show!

  1. I’m 25, and I still sleep with a cuddly toy.
  2. I’m the youngest of three. My parents and siblings used to tell me that I was found under a gooseberry bush, left behind by aliens.
  3. I have two bearded dragons – a female called Midna, and a male called Drogon.
  4. I love collecting Tsum Tsum’s.
  5. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll inspired me to become a writer.p01l3vbt
  6. I’m a proud Hufflepuff, with a horse Patronus. Thanks J.K. Rowling!
  7. I’ve been to the Warner Bro’s Studio Tour twice. I cried both times.
  8. My first short story was published in a werewolf anthology in 2012.
  9. I graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Professional Writing in 2013.
  10. I’m currently studying for another degree – this time in Health and Social Care.Feminists Taking Action 1
  11. I used to be terrified of Oogie Boogie from The Nightmare Before Christmas.
  12. I still get upset that Carrie Fisher is dead.
  13. I currently have three tattoos, and have plans for many more.
  14. My first music festival was Download 2012.
  15. Labyrinth is my favourite film in the entire world, and David Bowie will always be my Goblin King.Labyrinth soundtrack
  16. I tried playing roller derby until I fractured my right ankle, and then anxiety got the better of me.
  17. If I could travel anywhere in the world, it would be to Japan.
  18. The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess is one of my favourite video games.
  19. My latest novel, VRES: Digital Quest, was inspired by the Sony PlayStation VR, and the anime, Sword Art Online.
  20. VRES: Digital Quest is being published by Zombie Cupcake Press on 13 August, available for pre-order now.cropped-vres-cover-art.jpg

– ReadWriteZoe.

New blogging adventure

Hey everyone, welcome to my new blog for reading, writing and general geekery! There’s more to come from this, so watch this space!

It isn’t the first time that I’ve had a blog, so I suppose you could say that I’ve been there, done that, got the t-shirt. Yet this new site, is a whole new adventure to kick start not only creativity, but also to enhance my role as a newly published indie author.

I hope you’ll enjoy taking the journey with me.

– ReadWriteZoe