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Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Review:The Choice by Allison J Kennedy and GUESTPOST

The choice by Allison J Kennedy
Release date: May 23, 2015
Publisher: Booktrope
Buy or borrow: BUY
Buy here: Amazon BN

Author guest post:
A few years ago, I was asked to write a blog post about my writing routine. Looking back now, I actually have to laugh. “I never outline! It restricts me!” And how about, “If I edit as I go, I can’t get anywhere.”
Ha. Ha.
I’ve learned to appreciate a good outline. And I’ve also become a person who simply can’t move on if I don’t edit as I go. 
These are just a couple things that have changed about my writing process. As we grow in our craft, our routines also evolve with us. At least that’s true for me. I would like to discuss my writing process with you! Whether you’re a reader who is just curious about what goes into my books, or you’re an author who is looking for ideas—this post is for you!
It all starts with an idea...
Have you ever been sitting somewhere doing nothing of real importance when a thought sparks in your mind that seems a little odd, or even a little out of character for you? Most people shrug those thoughts off and think about something else. Writers tend to chew on them for a minute... or maybe even a few days. I have actually been inspired by the sound of a tornado siren before, slowly forming it into another scenario in my head. There’s a small town in Oklahoma... or maybe Kansas? It rarely sees storms like the rest of the area, but this storm could be a doozie. Maybe a girl with blue or brown eyes gets stuck in a collapsed building.... You get the picture. But it always begins this way for me: with a random idea. 
Sometimes those ideas are worth writing down. The tornado one wasn’t. But even if I’m not sure where the story would go, if there’s a solid idea forming, I’ll usually put it on paper so I can revisit it later.
When the actual writing begins...
I love this part. This is the part that makes me feel like I’m going to burst with creativity, and the best part is, I get to. I write whatever I feel inspired to, and if it’s crap, I trash it or fix it. One thing’s for sure: I can’t just write without revisiting what I’ve written. I have to know if it’s any good. I have to make sure it’s solid. Otherwise it feels like everything coming after it is built on a shaky foundation. 
When I wrote my first book, Tainted, I didn’t edit any of it until I was completely done writing. Which was fine... but it was extremely tedious. If that’s your process, you know what I’m talking about. I was like, “What the flip was I thinking?” way too many times to count. I honestly think it took me two or even three times as long to polish that book as it would have if I had just revised as I went. But that might just be me personally. I tent to write messily when I’m excited. 
I have quirks and rituals...
I tweeted about this recently. I cannot... cannot write without hot, steaming coffee in front of me. If it’s not hot, it’s not going to work. And if there is no coffee, I might as well not even try. There’s something about it! I feel a little like Lorelai from Gilmore Girls in that regard. 
“Do you like coffee?” asks Max Medina, Lorelai’s love interest.
“Only with my oxygen,” she replies.
That pretty much sums it up. Along with the fact that Gilmore Girls is the only show I can have in the background when I’m writing. Probably because I don’t have to hang on every word to know what’s happening. Besides, I’ve basically memorized the lines.
Another quirk: I often pause and say a character’s line out loud to determine whether or not it sounds realistic. Sometimes I act out a scene (when I’m alone... talk about embarrassing...) to gain a sense of how it should go. 
Writers are weird cookies.
The End... and then comes the editing...
Let’s just all give a collective groan of dread. I hate editing. Some writers love it. I would honestly rather shave my eyebrows. At least they’ll grow back in a couple weeks... editing takes weeks, and sometimes months. But it has to be done! And I usually do it three or four times! 
I was asked recently if I’ll ever read my books again once they’re published.
Yeah... maybe in forty years. I already know how they go, and I have an irrational fear of discovering a typo that simply cannot be fixed!
The book is done. Now what?
Paaarrrttt-aayyyy!!!!!!! This is usually the point where I allow test readers to give me feedback, and then I make changes based on their suggestions. When that’s done, I read it one last time, and then it’s a wrap!
Writing a book is a lot like being pregnant, I would imagine. It all starts with an idea (embryo), which then turns into a growing project (baby), which then gets brought into the world with lots of sweat and tears (birth). But it’s so worth it in the end! And I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that if I couldn’t write, I would wilt into a lost, empty person. It’s everything to me. 

Synopsis:  How do you heal from your past when you're still trapped within it? I lost myself the night of the party. Just like that, my innocence and my sanity were torn away. I would like to say that time heals all wounds, but it doesn't. And I would like to say that falling in love is what rescued me, but it wasn't. Nobody told me what to expect in the coming days and weeks and months after conceiving a rapist's child. Years later, my wounds are still just as fresh as the night they were made. It would be so easy to disappear and allow the memories to consume me. But that's the choice, isn't it? To live instead. **This book contains rape triggers. Discretion is advised.

My Thoughts:   This book really touched me. I liked how the author wrote about rape and abortion, but yet it was written so beautifully that she didn't force her opinion on anyone.

 May knew exactly what she wanted out of life. She was repsonsible and on the right path. She also was the caregiver of her little sister, Grace. May's parents, a surgeon and doctor, didn't pay attention to their children. One night May decides to go to a party with her friend, her whole world changed that night. Are you a bird or a fish? Do you swim at the bottom of the ocean with the rest of the fish or do you fly above everything? May considered herself  a bird, and that night someone tried to crush her. Just like the bird that she was, she rose above everything. She had a lot of difficult decisions to make and I think she made them with more grace than many people would have.

Simply put, I really, really loved this book. I still thought about it a couple days after I finished reading it. 

Recommendations: Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson