Blog Tour – Sparked

Hello lovelies and welcome to my stop for Sparked Blog Tour. If you’re new to my blog, welcome to Sincerely Karen Jo. Today I have a very fun guest post from one of the talented authors of this awesome book. Malena Watrous stops by to share what it’s like to co-author a novel with Helena Echlin. So let’s get to it!

SparkedTour


We’re Having a Novel!

By Malena Watrous

When Helena and I first met at a mutual friend’s cocktail party, it was one of my first evenings away from my one-year-old son, and she was pregnant with her first child. She looked very glamorous in a long silvery dress, with a snake bracelet coiled around her upper arm. I bring up the fact that I was a new mother and she was about to become one, because in the years that followed, we found that co-authoring a novel is a lot like having a baby together.

Phase 1: Infatuation

We started talking at that party, realized how much we had in common: we loved all of the same novels, we’d both written adult novels, and were itching to try writing YA. We wanted to write a novel with real and memorable characters that also involved magic and mystery. We both felt a isolated writing alone, and thought it would be cool to try writing collaboratively. Also, we naively assumed, two writers meant half the work—right? So with butterflies flitting in our stomachs, we made a follow-up date to talk plot.

Phase 2: Gestation

After I shared an idea I’d been mulling over for a YA novel, Helena immediately figured out where that story could go, and we were off. For the first seven months, ideas poured out of us in a frenzy of inspiration. We’d meet every Monday at a San Francisco coffee shop, making a list of scenes we needed to write, and divide them up, spending rest of the week separately drafting our “assignments.” Then we’d email each other the drafts to edit.

Phase 3: Labor

Months seven to nine required us to finish the first draft, which wasn’t quite as easy as starting it because our plot had gone a little berserk. There was mystery, romance, horror, an ancient prophecy—and pie shakes. It all had to form one coherent book with an ending that wrapped everything up. We powered through, and celebrated with a dinner party that concluded with the same cake that our protagonist eats at her birthday party in one of the book’s final scenes, a carrot and beet cake with cream cheese frosting.

Phase 4: The baby and toddler years

But bringing the baby home is when the real work begins. And with co-writing a book, revising was when we really had to knuckle down. We wrote this novel in a froth of inspiration. Revising it was a more sober process that required making conscious decisions about what wasn’t working and how to fix it. We didn’t always immediately agree on the problem or solution, which anyone who has tried to be a parent with someone else probably can relate to. (“Why do you get up every time he cries? You’re just teaching him not to sleep through the night!”) But we persevered through more drafts than I dare to count and made the book into something we are both proud of.  

Phase 5: Starting over?

Now our book has been published, we’re thrilled that it is out in the world, but we have extra time on our hands. And what do you do after your baby grows up enough that you finally have some of your freedom back? You take a deep breath and decide to do it all over again. That’s where we are now. A sequel is brewing in our minds. We are starting up our Monday brainstorming sessions, getting ready to write the sequel. We know that what we learned as a result of collaborating on the first book will help to inform the process of writing the next book. But we also know that there are no real shortcuts to writing a novel. Collaborating is not really half the work, but it’s definitely twice the fun!


Sparked 

Helena Echlin and Malena Watrous

Sparked Cover

Publication Date: October 3, 2017

Publisher: Geek & Sundry

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Fifteen-year-old Laurel Goodwin wakes up to find her older sister Ivy missing from their Airstream trailer in the Oregon redwoods. A recurring nightmare convinces her that Ivy was abducted, but no one takes her dream seriously, including her mom. Laurel, a loner, has to learn to ask for help, and Jasper Blake, a mysterious new kid who shares her love of old books, quickly becomes her ally. Together they find their quiet town holds a deep secret and is the epicenter of a dark prophecy.
Laurel soon learns that her worst enemies, mean girls Peyton Andersen and Mei Rosen, are developing powers that she needs to find and save Ivy. With time running out, Laurel realizes that power doesn’t always take the form that you expect. And once she learns to look beyond her snap judgments, she develops an unexpected gift of her own.

sparked authorsAbout the Authors

Hello! We are both novelists, but if you’ve ever tried to write anything, you know that writing can be a lonely, angst-filled business. So one night over a cocktail or two, we came up with a solution: write our next book together. Malena already had an idea: a girl’s sister is kidnapped and she has to rely on mean girls with superpowers to get her sister back. We couldn’t resist seeing where that story would take us – a wild ride that includes a loner girl who wants to be a writer and a gorgeous boy who can shoot fire from his eyes but also loves to talk about books. And an ancient Zoroastrian prophecy. And pie shakes. (OK, so maybe we got a little carried away.)

We’ve both published solo novels (check them out here and here) and had no idea how co-writing would work out, but we pounded out the first draft in a white-hot frenzy of inspiration we called “the Vortex.” One of us would write a scene and send it to the other with a note: “My apartment is a pigsty and I haven’t eaten all day. #inthevortex.” We wrote the book we wanted to read as teenagers: a supernatural thriller with healthy doses of horror and humor. Oh, and of course there’s romance. You have to wait a long time for the only kiss in the book, but isn’t that the case with all the best kisses in books?

Follow Helena and Malena – Website | Twitter

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Two (2) winner will receive a copy of Sparked by Helena Echlin & Malena Watrous (INT)

Tour Schedule

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Thanks for reading. Leave your comments down below.

Sincerely Karen Jo

 

 

Hocus Pocus Book Tag

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October is one of my favorite months. I love seeing the Halloween decorations, dressing up, going to haunted houses/mazes, and watching scary movies at home. Hocus Pocus may not be scary (although it did spook me when I was little), but it’s absolutely one of my all-time favorite movies to watch during this time of the year. It’s nostalgic, a classic, and brings back many good memories. So imagine how excited I was when I saw this on Mandy @bookprincessreviews blog… Beyond ecstatic that even if I wasn’t tagged, I’m going to do it anyway. I mean it’s a Hocus Pocus Tag!!! I’d have to be bewitched to not do it.

If you’re not following bookprincessreview yet, be sure to check out her blog and give her some love!

Also, this tag was created by Never Not Reading! Check out the original post on the link there.


THE SANDERSON SISTERS – A GREAT TRILOGY

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The Legend Series by Marie Lu. I love this series so much. I still remember being in tears during those last few chapters. Marie Lu is just an awesome writer and I love The Young Elites trilogy too, but this series was what made me fall in love with her books. She’s definitely one of my auto-buy authors.


WINIFRED SANDERSON – A BOOK WITH A TRULY EVIL FEMALE VILLAIN

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The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer. Queen Levana is just the worst and probably the only villain I never liked…not even a little bit.


SARAH SANDERSON – A BOOK THAT UNCANNILY ATTRACTS CHILDREN

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Not sure how to answer this one, but I know a lot of kids seem to like Miss Peregrines Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs.


 MARY SANDERSON – A BOOK THAT IS JUST PLAIN SILLY

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Starstruck by S.E. Anderson. This book is just so much fun and had me laughing so much. If you’re interested, you can read my review HERE.


MAX – A BOOK THAT IS TRYING REALLY HARD TO BE COOL, BUT DOESN’T ALWAYS SUCCEED

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Mr. 60% by Clete Barrett Smith. When I saw this book, I thought the title was kind of cool and interesting so maybe the story would be too. BUT the book just did not work for me. I wanted to like it… I really did, but I was just so annoyed by the story and the characters. By far the coolest thing about the book is the title and you’ll know why if you’ve read.


 DANI – A BOOK THAT ISN’T AFRAID TO TELL IT LIKE IT IS

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A Messy, Beautiful Life by Sara Jade Alan. I absolutely love this book. It tackles a very sensitive issue, but with realness and humor that left my heart full of hope. You can read my review HERE.


BINX – A BOOK SERIES THAT JUST WON’T DIE

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I love Cassandra Clare and The Mortal Instruments and would buy every book in this universe, but I’m just wondering… when will the series really end…


ICE – A BOOK WITH A CHARACTER THAT’S DUMB AS A ROCK

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I really can’t think of one right now. I mean dislike a lot of characters, but dumb as a rock…. I just don’t know.


THE BLACK FLAME CANDLE – A BOOK OR SERIES YOU WISH YOU COULD RESURRECT

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The Doon Series by Lorie Langdon and Carey Corp. I absolutely love that series and have been missing everyone and Doon so much. BUT…. I just found out yesterday that it’s going to be turned into a TV series!!! It’ll still be a while, but I’m ridiculously excited to see one of my favorite book series on TV.


HEADLESS BILLY BUTCHERSON -A BOOK THAT’S NOT SO BAD AS PEOPLE MAKE IT OUT TO BE

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Twilight by Stephanie Meyer. No matter what anyone says about this book or series, I’m always going to love it! This book/series got me back into reading and as cheesy as they are, these books are super fun.


 WINIFRED SANDERSON’S SPELL BOOK – A BOOK WITH A MIND OF ITS OWN

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Vicarious by Paula Stokes. There were so many twists and turn in this book that I never knew what would happen. Just when I thought I had everything figured out… nope I was wrong. I love books that keep you on the edge and this one definitely did not disappoint!


GARRY MARSHALL – A BOOK WITH A CAMEO

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Nikolai Lantsov in Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo


TAGGING YOU AND YOU AND YOU!!!

Nerd Narration

Des’ Random Thoughts

nosestuckinabook

Firstbooklove

Melissabookworld

Books, Books, and More Books

Books and Munches

AND If you’ve gone this far, then consider yourself tagged! Have fun and don’t forget to link back so I can see your answers.

Hope you enjoyed this post. Leave your comments down below!

Sincerely Karen Jo