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Sunday, June 15, 2014

All Authors Blog Blitz

Dear RWPPs,

Today I'm happy to present two fantastic people for the All Authors Blog Blitz. 

I'd like to welcome Ms. Harmony Kent and Ms. Debra Chapoton.

Ladies, (extending my hand cordially) take it away...


Harmony Kent


Hi Y, it’s great to see you again. 

How have you been?

For those of you who haven’t met me before, I’m Harmony. I hope the selfie hasn’t put you off your food! Don’t worry, my book covers are a lot better. 

So, it’s June 15th, which means only one thing … another All Authors Blog Blitz. You can find Y over at my place by clicking here. Please pop in and give her a huge warm welcome. Thanks so much, Y, for organising this fantastic web event yet again. 

I’ve been around on the web since May 2013, when I published my first book. In real life, I’ve been around a little bit longer than that. Here and there bits and pieces of info about me have surfaced, but never before have you had it all in one place … until now. So fasten your seatbelts, and get ready for a journey through my psyche: if you can handle it.

I’ve always been a writer, it just took me a while to realise that. When I was a kid, I was always writing. And if I wasn’t writing, I generally had my nose stuck in a book, and would be oblivious to the real world. My Mom was always telling me off for not hearing people when they were trying to get my attention, and if I had to stop reading it was always like … ‘Just one more line, please?’ or ‘Can’t I just read to the end of the paragraph?’ I couldn’t bear the thought I was missing what was about to happen next. That’s the great thing about books, as opposed to movies. When you put them down, the story stays right where it is, and you don’t really miss anything—except in your own mind, which is where the real magic happens. Eventually, I grew up and the writing kind of got lost somewhere in the morass of everyday life. I wasn’t a very confident woman back in the day, and the pressure of holding a job and managing relationships took its toll. My creativity got a lot squashed. And, of course, the explosion of the World Wide Web hadn’t happened yet (I know, I’m REALLY showing my age now) … which meant that any research had to be done at the library, the old fashioned way—trawling through shelves and shelves and pages and pages of books. Not to mention taking a lot of time, it could also prove an expensive business. And, a lot of the time, my library just didn’t have what I was looking for. I did keep my passion for reading though. This saved my imagination, and my
vital spark. Books were my personal ‘Great Escape’.

In my mid-twenties, I came across Buddhism and very quickly took ordination in the Japanese Zen tradition. I stayed in the temple for about 13 years, and it turned my life around. Those were difficult years, but so worth it. I wouldn’t be the person I am today without them. I found peace, contentment and confidence. At last, I felt up to the awesome task of living. There were a few speed bumps along the way, especially when I received a severe injury to my leg. After three years of pain and disablement I opted to have the damaged leg amputated, in the hope it would give me a fresh start. That wasn’t to be, and all these years on I still have a lot of problems with it. However, the years I had spent in meditation and reflection more than equipped me to deal with it. Not only that, but to use even this experience to evolve and grow. Eighteen months ago, I left monastic practice and re-joined the world. Within six months, I had published my first book. A fantasy fiction novel based in Britain, Holland and Norway … oh, and somewhere magical beneath the North Sea. The Battle for Brisingamen was my springboard back into writing. Its publication was also the catalyst for my educating myself in the intricacies of editing and proofreading. I realised there was a huge need out there in the world of indie authors, and that most editing services were simply too expensive. Which is why I offer my services very cheaply. Most indies just can’t afford that much money. And, as I say on my website (harmonykentonline), I am open to negotiation.

Another six months on saw the publication of my second book: The Glade, a supernatural suspense novel. It also saw me reviewing for Awesome Indies and The Review Board, and even writing a guest post for All Authors Magazine. Now, eighteen months since my life changed massively yet again, I am about to publish my third book—which also happens to be my first YA novel. Elemental Earth (Book 1 in The Mysteries Series) is Young Adult Fantasy Fiction, and is due to be released in mid-June. It is the first book of a series, and so far the beta readers have loved it. I am thrilled to be able to tell you that I have also been offered my own column in the All Authors Magazine, and my first article debuts in issue five. The column is All About Indie, and is the place you want to go to get the low-down on all things indie. This is a great magazine, and as well as being full of interesting stuff, it is also an entertaining read. My author services are also starting to take off, and I am getting busier with proofreading, editing, and doing MS appraisals. I also offer honest reviews on every genre of book, and my ‘to review’ list is now huge. At the beginning of the year, I set my reading challenge on Goodreads to 150 books, and I was worried I’d bitten off more than I could handle. Well, so far, I’m 18 books ahead of schedule (which means about six weeks-worth of reading time). So, I guess I don’t need to worry about that particular deadline anymore. It gave me quite a shock when I realised just how many books I’ve gotten through so far this year. And that’s not counting the MSS I work on pre-publication.

These days, my life is so full and I’m so very happy—despite being physically limited. My intellectual and
emotional horizons are broader than they have ever been. I am so lucky to be able to spend my days doing the things I love the most: working with books. I can write and read to my heart’s content, and—best of all—I can help other authors realise their dreams. And I’ve met some great friends along the way, such as Y. What an awesome lady! I feel blessed to have met her, and one of these days I WILL get over to the states to meet her, and a few other great gals I’ve come across during my online journey.

If you’d like to connect up, and learn more about me, then you can find me in all these places …
Twitter: @harmony_kent
Website and blog: http://harmonykent.co.uk
All Authors Magazine: http://www.scribd.com/allauthorspp

And a few others. I’m sure you’ll find me.


These days, my life is so full and I’m so very happy—despite being physically limited. My intellectual and emotional horizons are broader than they have ever been. I am so lucky to be able to spend my days doing the things I love the most: working with books. I can write and read to my heart’s content, and—best of all—I can help other authors realise their dreams. And I’ve met some great friends along the way, such as Y. What an awesome lady! I feel blessed to have met her, and one of these days I WILL get over to the states to meet her, and a few other great gals I’ve come across during my online journey.

If you’d like to connect up, and learn more about me, then you can find me in all these places …
Twitter: @harmony_kent
Website and blog: http://harmonykent.co.uk
All Authors Magazine: http://www.scribd.com/allauthorspp

And a few others. I’m sure you’ll find me.

Thanks so much for stopping by, and for listening to me ramble on. And hugs to Y for hosting me on her blog again.


Debra Chapoton

How an Author Finds Her Inspiration

Every time I read a book with a great theme I think wow, why didn't I come up with that? After all, there are roughly forty billion novel ideas floating around in the air just above our heads, right? Well, I've written almost twenty books in various genres and have plucked those themes from said air. The tricky part once I grabbed a theme was getting my muse to cooperate. Let me give you two examples of how I got my inspiration.

For my first young adult novel, Edge of Escape, the idea came to me as I sat in the passenger seat staring at a green line of trees. My husband and I were heading home from a weekend in the quiet woods of northern Michigan, aiming the car toward the traffic-crammed streets of suburban Detroit where we both taught in a large high school. The idea struck: What if a misunderstood teen set his sights on a popular girl and took her to the woods we just left? Well, that wasn't quite earth shattering. Here was where the inspiration fairy needed to do her thing. And poof! I thought of a particular student I had: tall, dark, handsome, but with some emotional problems. He didn't interact with the other kids; he ate lunch at the special ed table; his mother had arranged for individualized treatment from his teachers. The kid was smart, but a social misfit. What if his simple crush on a girl developed into a plan to kidnap her and make her like him back? Aha, almost there. To read the final synopsis go here:

Like Edge of Escape, my next two YA novels, The Guardian’s Diary and Sheltered, were set in suburban high schools and I also (loosely) based some of the characters on my students. Then for A Soul’s Kiss my inspiration came from – this is going to sound strange – STD’s. Here’s the thought pattern: I wish I knew what other people were thinking … I wish I could be that person for a day … What if your body could release your spirit and you could inhabit their body? Yeah, yeah, I know – body swapping. Freaky Friday, Disney movies, etc. Now for the inspiration: What if she didn't swap bodies? What if she just left behind others’ thoughts and dreams? Like an STD. The novel evolved from there with sub-themes of bullying, hidden crushes, and even racial tolerance. Here’s the back of the book blurb:

When a tragic car accident sends Jessica’s comatose body to the hospital her spirit escapes. Navigating a supernatural realm is tough, but being half-dead has its advantages.

Like getting into people’s thoughts.

Like taking over someone’s body.

Like experiencing romance on a whole new plane – literally.

Jessica learns an amazing truth as she struggles to return to her body before the doctors pull the plug, only she can’t do it alone. Now the only people willing to help Jessica’s splintered soul – the two she has hurt the most – must guide her soul back to her body before it’s too late.



Excerpt:

I think about Michael, but Hannah’s face keeps interrupting every memory. I think about Rashanda and Tyler, but again Hannah’s voice splits my thoughts in two. Her voice. And what I last heard her say as I sat behind her in her friend’s car. Last night: “We could make Andrew the next victim if you want.”

“We could make Andrew the next victim if you want.”

It echoes. I can remember the entire conversation. And more. I can remember touching my forehead to the back of her head. I got inside, but she would not acknowledge me. I could not get past the boxes of darkness that litter her head. It was like there were doors and more doors, all of them closed, and I didn’t have the keys to open any of them.

And now I’m stuck. There’s no pulling back out of her mind. Last night I felt her nausea, her migraine. I heard Brittany’s voice, took in their conversation, their good-byes, the walk into the house. I saw her father, felt Hannah’s disappointment – a mixture of repulsion and love as she sneaked past the snoring hulk sprawled on the living room couch. I remember her, us, getting ready for bed.

And then this blackness.

My heart, or maybe it’s Hannah’s, stutters to life in a race to beat my mind to a horrible conclusion: I am stuck in Hannah and Hannah is waking up.

Author bio:

Debra Chapoton has taught kids of all ages in her main career as a teacher. She has a BA in Spanish and a Master of Arts degree in Teaching English. She started writing in 2002 and was surprised to find out that the characters quickly take over the action and dialogue in the stories.

Her first YA novel, Edge of Escape, was self-published and then discovered by Piper Verlag Publishing and translated into German. Stalking and obsession get a sympathetic twist in this story of physical and psychological survival.

Her next two YA novels, Sheltered and The Guardian’s Diary, detour into a different genre as she writes about teens who confront supernatural forces. A Soul’s Kiss crosses genre boundaries to combine the paranormal, suspense, coming of age, and romance.

Chapoton has also written eleven chapter books for middle grade kids and two non-fiction works for adults, Crossing the Scriptures and Building a Log Home in Under a Year.

When she’s not writing she enjoys the quiet of the full log home she designed and built with her husband. They live in the middle of 62 beautiful wooded acres in northern Michigan.