Friday, October 12, 2012

Guest Post and GIVEAWAY: Author Sarra Cannon

Today I'm excited to have Sara Cannon, author of The Peachville High Demons series, stop by the blog to tell us a bit about her writing process- Y'all are going to want to take notes, Sarra knows what she's talking about, she's sold more than 100,000 copies of her books! ;) 

Hi Avery and fans of Avery's Book Nook!! I am Indie author Sarra Cannon, and I am so excited to be here on the blog today to talk about my writing process.

 I have always loved to write fiction. When I decided to pursue writing as a career, I knew I wanted to write YA. For research (wink, wink), I bought a TON of new YA books and read for months and months, analyzing what worked, how the stories I loved most were put together, and what types of characters I connected with on a deeper level. Finding my own voice and writing process wasn't easy. It took years of work and self-discovery, but when I finally figured out my best process, my writing got better and a lot more fun.

 So what's my process? First of all, I keep an 'idea box'. Whenever I have a new idea, I file it away so that I don't forget. When it's time for me to work on a new project, I look through my idea box and pick a story that speaks to me. Then, I outline my idea using a three-act structure. I am obsessed with colorful post-its and pens, so my initial story grid looks like (to the left). I spend about a week or two filling in as many scenes as I can, which for me is usually only the beginning and end of the story with a few scenes peppered in here and there randomly. I definitely already have a good idea of the main characters in the story and can see them clearly in my head before I begin writing.

 Then I start the rough draft. My rough drafts always suck, lol. I write in circles, sometimes with scenes out of order. Sometimes I have notes to myself that say things like, “Figure out a scene to add here that is romantic.” During this stage, I usually bite my nails and swear that I'm a terrible writer. For the record, my husband hates this stage because he has to hear me whine about how the story just isn't coming together. He says I do this every single time. Ha!

 Even though I think I know what my novel is about when I begin, I always have this revelation somewhere toward the end of the first draft that completely changes everything I've written so far. When I first started writing, I got so frustrated by this. Making these changes means rewriting most of the book, and I felt that I had just wasted my time by writing words that would never see the light of day.

Demons Forever Sarra Cannon It wasn't until I finally gave in to my true writing process that I started writing books that people actually liked to read. I no longer let myself get frustrated by the fact that most of my rough draft is completely tossed out. I actually call my rough draft my 'exploratory draft'. I know going into it now that my readers will never see most of it. I am simply exploring my idea of what the story might be. I start writing and find joy in waiting for that beautiful moment where the light turns on and the true story reveals itself to me. It feels like magic, and for me, it's one of the most exhilarating things I've ever experienced in my life.

Of course, this moment usually comes about a month before my book is due to be published, so I end up rewriting the entire book furiously in the middle of the night. For Rival Demons, book 5 of my Peachville High Demons series, I rewrote the entire book in a week just before it was published in January. It was grueling and exhausted, but it was incredibly fun and exciting. This is my process, and the more I embrace it, the faster I write. I also would like to think the better my books become, but I'll let my readers be the judge of that.

Speaking of readers, I would love to introduce some new readers to the Peachville High Demons series. Enter below to win copies of all 6 ebooks in my series, including the brand new book, DEMONS FOREVER, which will release October 29th. I'm also throwing in some fun swag for a US winner! And for any current fans of the series, you can still enter to win book 6 even if you already have the rest of them. The winner will be announced here on the rafflecopter and on my twitter (@sarramaria) and Facebook page Tuesday the 16th.

 Thanks so much to everyone who stopped by the blog today, and thanks again to Avery for having me as a guest!! a Rafflecopter giveaway

34 comments:

  1. I love this series and am so excited for Demons Forever to be released!!! Thanks for the giveaway!!

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  2. Totaly love the Demon series and I can't wait to see how it will end. It will be a bitter sweet experience for sure as after that it will be over. But mand did the last book so far leave me with such a cliff hangner lol

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  3. so excited for demons forever... wanna fine out how it will all end... your awesome sara !!!

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  4. Love this series so excited for the next book! Can't wait to read it!

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  5. Sarra, I'm so very much looking forward to this book! You left us with a cliffhanger, girl--shame on you! ;} Can't wait!

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  6. Love this series and i can't wait for Demons Forever!!!

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  7. The books are amazing and the concept of the "idea box" is so smart. <3 PHD

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  8. can't wait for demons forever!! <3 <3!!

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  9. Great post! This is one of my favorite YA series! I have them all on my Nook but I would love a set of hard copies! I can't wait for the next book! Thanks for the great giveaway.;)

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  10. Thanks Avery for hosting me today, and thanks everyone for the awesome comments!! I'm so excited to see what everyone thinks of Demons Forever (and nervous too!!). Can't believe it's only 17 days away!

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  11. Can't wait till the 29th love your books, 17 more days :D!!!!!

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  12. I would love to read this series. It sounds very good. Thanks for the giveaway. Please enter me. Tore923@aol.com

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    1. Tore, make sure you enter on the Rafflecopter entry form above! I will be choosing a winner through there, so all you have to do is click "Post a blog comment" or any of the other tasks and you will be able to enter your email address there to win!

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  13. Cannot wait for the last book I love this series!!!!!

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  14. can not wait... counting the days...

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  15. This has been an amazing series~can't wait for Demons Forever is released!!! Sarra u are a very gifted author!

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  16. Haven't heard of this series. Will have to check it out. So interesting to see author's process. :)

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  17. This is an amazing series, I hope that one day I can add this to my hard copy library.

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    1. Thanks Kuzuha! I haven't gotten any print books done yet, but everyone keeps asking, so I need to try to get it done after this final book releases! Maybe it would be a cool new thing for Christmas!

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  18. Please remember to read the rules that Sarra set forth about the Rafflecopter- the giveaway is for a complete set of E-BOOKS, not physical books.

    Regardless, an amazing prize!

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  19. Love this series and can't wait for the last book! Great giveaway and post :)

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  20. I feel like I have been waiting forever for book six!

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  21. love this series!! You sucked me in!!

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  22. Amazing Series and I am counting down the days until the last! Sad to see it end but I am excited to see what Sarra comes out with next! I've already won one contest so Im here as support!

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  23. I love this series and would love to win one of the new ribbons, as well as the books of course.

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  24. Amazing books by far!! I sometimes find myself thinking about the stories and can't believe it's coming to an end!! I know Sarra has something great in store not just for the characters but for us as well! Yay!! :-)

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  25. Thank you so much for a chance to win these amazing prizes!

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  26. Thank you so much for your contribution to the literary world!! <3 Peachville High Demons!!

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  27. I Love your books ive only read the first three because i cant really afford to get the rest right now even considering how cheap they are. but i love them <3

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Thanks so much for taking the time to comment! I really appreciate it!

Though I appreciate awards I have decided to make my blog an "award-free zone". Unfortunately I do not have the time to hold up my end of award-giving. But again, I appreciate you thinking of me!




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