Book Review: Groovy Cool Writing Techniques by Cinta Garcia de la Rosa

***I’m going to start this blog post by stating that I received an Advance Review Copy (ARC) of this book and I consider Cinta to be a friend, but that won’t sway my opinion of this book.***

Groovy Cool Writing Techniques is obviously a guide to help us writers, write. In it Cinta Garcia de la Rosa gives us tips on how to overcome many of the problems we face when we’re writing; from writers block to how to relax and how to work through the anxiety that can come when writing. As well as many other little hurdles that can stop writers from getting words out of our heads and onto paper (or into a computer).

Some of the tips in this guide look at how to exercise our creative muscles while not in the act of writing, and how important that is to the process.

One of the stand out themes that Cinta talks about in Groovy Cool Writing Techniques is the self doubt that can come while writing. This self doubt is something that I personally suffer from, especially lately where I’ve felt I’ve not been able to get the right words out of my head and in the right order. So it helped seeing it addressed here and I’ve tired the visualisation exercise at the end of Chapter 2 which helped me even more.

There are many good tips and exercises in Groovy Cool Writing Techniques but what I think makes this book work so well for me is the fact that each chapter feels like its in a tidy, manageable and bitesize chunk. I’ve not read many writing guides, simply because when I’ve looked at them in book shops they look a little intimidating. Even On Writing by Stephen King I think would have been a hard read for me if I had read it and not listened to the audiobook. (I’m not comparing Groovy Cool Writing Techniques to On Writing, as in my opinion they are two different types of guide books).

With Groovy Cool Writing Techniques I found it was easy for me to absorb the information it gave, and with the odd part here and there I went back and read a paragraph or sentence again, and as it is laid out in the way it is I found it was easy to do this.

Do I recommend Groovy Cool Writing Techniques? Absolutely yes. This is a well written, well thought out and well presented book which is full of good advance for any writer.

One last thing I want to mention, this book has a fantastic cover which suits the book incredibly well.

Groovy Cool Writing Techniques by Cinta Garcia de la Rosa is available from the 1st of March, but if you can’t wait that long then you can pre-order it from Amazon now (the link is below).

You can find Cinta at her blog, Cinta’s Corner, where she posts about her travels, book reviews, cooking and many other topics.

Thank you all for reading and I hope you check out Groovy Cool Writing Techniques, and visit Cinta’s Corner, I’m pretty sure theres something there for everyone 🙂

http://cintascorner.com

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00TIG1Z3I

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Interview with C L Raven

I first discovered Cat and Lynx Raven through our mutual friend Cinta Garcia de la Rosa and over the last few months in particular I’ve felt that I’ve gotten to know these two young ladies a little. Cat and Lynx are twins who combine to become the writer C L Raven. They also attempt to contact the dead with Calamityville Horror on their YouTube channel.

 

First of all, when did you start writing and was it something you’ve always wanted to do?

We started writing novels at 12 but we’d always loved creative writing in primary school. It’s something we’ve done every day since we were 12 but we hadn’t really considered doing it professionally. We had no idea how to make it happen.

As a writing duo, what is your writing process?

One of us writes 2 pages then we switch. It’s that simple. We don’t tell each other what we’ve done or what we think should happen.

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Do you ever have creative differences?

Luckily, no.

What part of the writing process do you find the most difficult?

Sometimes it’s actually getting the ideas. We don’t wait for the muse to appear – if we did, we wouldn’t write anything. Sometimes we’ll have a vague idea like ‘ghost ship’ or ‘plague doctor’ then just start typing but starting is the hardest part.

I think a question which a lot of writers hate is the ‘Where do you get your ideas from?” and I believe a better question is what would you say have been the biggest influences on your writing?

Weirdly it’s bands. My Chemical Romance and Green Day have influenced a lot of our stuff. MCR’s The Black Parade album makes our imaginations tingle.

Your book covers are fantastic and very memorable, did you create them or did you work with a cover artist and is there one that you are particularly fond of?

We have no artistic talent whatsoever! Nobody would be impressed at seeing stick people on book covers. We’ve used two cover artists, one (River Rose) who is an artist, rather than a cover artist. She painted Disenchanted’s cover in water colours and digitally painted Deadly Reflections. We’re in awe of her talent. Soul Asylum’s cover is actually a photo of Denbigh Asylum that we took ourselves. We did an 8 hour road trip for that photo. We don’t have a favourite cover.

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Speaking of fondness, is there one book or story that is special to you?

Soul Asylum will always be special to us. It’s our first published novel but it’s not the first novel we’ve written. Gunning Down Romance started us on our self-publishing journey so that one’s special too.

Most of your work is horror and I was wondering if you’ve written in other genres or would like to one day?

We spent most of our teenage years writing crime but they were always with serial killers who did elaborate murders. We found the murders were our favourite part so we stuck with the killers and got rid of the police. We’ve now branched into historical horror which we’re enjoying as it combines our love of history with our love of horror.

I’d like to talk about C.A.T.S. Calamityville Horror now, how did it come about?

Weirdly, that came about through writing. We’d written a novel about ghost hunters and thought we should get some experience, so we bought a book on haunted places in south Wales and dragged our mum along to visit them. Then we bought tickets for an overnight ghost tour in Ruthin Gaol. A lot of people were telling us to get on YouTube to promote ourselves, so we thought a ghost hunting show would be fun.

Have you found that ghost hunting has influenced your writing?

Yes – Deadly Reflections is a collection of ghost stories. Some were set in places we’ve visited or the stories are adapted from ghost stories we’ve found during research. And we now write articles about our ghost hunting for Haunted Digital Magazine. They found us through Calamityville and asked us to write for them.

I’ve learnt a lot about the histories of the places Calamityville has visited and I was wondering if there was something you discovered that you found particularly odd or surprising?

Ooh that’s a really good question. We haven’t been asked that before. A few times we’ve discovered that some of the ghost stories aren’t true and we find that disappointing. Most of the Skirrid Inn’s ghost stories or historical stories aren’t true. One of the oddest stories has to be Carew Castle – it’s haunted by a Barbury ape, Satan. His owner Roland had trained him to attack people and one night he attacked a Flemish tradesman. The next morning, Roland was found with his throat slit and the ape was dead in the fireplace.

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In the end credits of Calamityville there is the line ‘No C.A.T.S. were harmed in the making of this show’ Have you ever had to take that off due to an injury?

We’ve never taken it off, though we should as we have all picked up injuries on the show! We seem to be clumsier when there’s a camera pointed at us. Fortunately it’s mostly minor injuries that come from us messing around.

Can you tell me about The Animal Army, and are they part of a plan for world domination?

They’re a major part of the world domination plans. The cats are in charge of the whole thing. We have 4 cats – Spectre, Warlock, Ebony and the visiting stray, Mousaffa; 2 rabbits – Drogo and Ghost; an iguana, Kyler; a duck, Peking; a corn snake, Charlie; 4 African snails – Zimbabwe, Cameroon, Kenya and Zambia; and our new addition, a 6 month old Lurcher pup, Bandit. Most of our animals seem to be either rescue pets or unwanted pets.

What are you’re favourite Movies, TV Shows and Music?

Films – Nightmare Before Christmas. We love anything by Tim Burton and horror in general. We only own horror films. TV shows – Sleepy Hollow, Bones, Criminal Minds, Game of Thrones, Supernatural, Grimm, Ghost Adventures. Music – My Chemical Romance, Green Day, Rise Against, Linkin Park.

And lastly, what has been the most pleasant surprise you’ve had since you published your first book?

That people actually read them and enjoy them. We’re used to just having our mum read them. And we got invited to read at a literary festival in East Budleigh, Devon. That was unexpected because we’re completely unknown. Best-selling crime writer Graham Hurley said we upstaged him. All we did was talk about failing to find Sir Walter Raleigh’s house, getting caught in a downpour and smelling of farm animals. People seemed to enjoy that.

Links:
http://www.clraven.wordpress.com
Twitter – @clraven @CalamityHorror
Facebook – C L Raven fan club https://www.facebook.com/pages/CL-Raven-Fanclub/117592995008142?ref=hl
Calamityville Horror fan page https://www.facebook.com/CatsTalesOfTerror?ref=hl

 

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I hope you’ve enjoyed learning a little about these fantastic ladies. If you’d like to know more then please click on the links they’ve provided and explore their sites, their WordPress site is fantastic! Calamityville is a whole lot of fun to watch as well and I’ve enjoyed their fiction and I’m looking forward to reading more of it.

BLOG TOUR – LITTLE NANI REVISITED

BLOG TOUR – LITTLE NANI REVISITED

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Thank you for visiting this wonderful blog today so you can know a bit more about Little Nani, her stories, her world, and her author. OK, her author is not as interesting as Little Nani, but what can we do? They go hand in hand, so please bear with her.

Why are we here today? Because Little Nani is suffering a series of changes. “The Funny Adventures of Little Nani” was published for the first time last September 2012, both in print and in ebook form, on Amazon and Createspace. However, along the months, I started feeling less enthusiastic about my book, thinking that the cover was dull and boring, and also thinking that the stories could be improved, maybe going through some extra editing and proofing. So that’s what I did, and now I am much happier about the result and I trust that I will start getting many more sales. Why? Because I will make the books available not only on Amazon and Createspace, but also on Smashwords, Barnes and Noble, and Feed-A-Read.

There will be also many different options to buy the books. Do you want to buy the whole set of stories? You can do it. Do you want to buy just some stories, the ones you think you would like? You can do it too, since I will publish the stories individually on Smashwords. So you see, different options to match different customers, different readers.

Once all this is settled and the books are republished on all those retailers, I will start to do the same process with the second book in the Little Nani series, which will be available next Fall.

Follow the whole blog tour since I will be announcing all the news in the different blogs!

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Little Nani is a little girl who likes helping people. However, when she helps people the results can be a bit unexpected. Why is that? Little Nani is a witch! Or at least she wants to be a witch. With her magic wand, she will try to cast different spells to help her friends, but she won’t be successful all the time.

Follow Little Nani in her funny adventures and meet her extraordinary friends. Funny ostriches, horses that love reading, super-fast turtles, grumpy zombies… Little Nani has lots of friends! You can also draw your own characters!

Little Nani is willing to become a good witch. Will she manage to do it? Who knows? Read the stories and discover what happens next!

AUTHOR BIO.

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Cinta Garcia de la Rosa is a Spanish writer who has loved the written word since he discovered she was able to read books at age 5. Since then, she has become a bookworm and reads around 100 books every year. She also writes, every day, compulsively, even in the middle of the night. You cannot control when inspiration hits you, can you? She writes in English because she is convinced that in a previous life she was British, so writing in English feels more natural to her than writing in her native language. Yes, she is crazy like that. Cinta Garcia is the author of “The Funny Adventures of Little Nani”, a collection of short stories for children, and “A Foreigner in London”, a short story published on Smashwords. She is a member of Independent Authors International (iAi).

Typical mistakes we commit while editing.

 

I am always saying that editing is very important. It is essential. It can mean the difference between a good book and a bad book. As a reviewer, I have found lots of books that are very badly edited, and their authors wonder why I gave them such a low rating. Well, let’s see why.

The most common mistake some authors commit is thinking that they can edit their own writing. WRONG! Since we are the ones who have written the book, our brain doesn’t realise the mistakes we may have included in the story. We can read the whole book twenty times, and we still will see “avdenture” as if it were correctly spelled. Or a plot hole that goes unnoticed to our brain. So that’s why we need those extra pairs of eyes that editors, proofreaders, and beta-readers can provide. They will see what we cannot see.

Another mistake that some authors commit is to keep text that should be cut, just because they want to reach a certain word count. Don’t be afraid to cut text that feels unnecessary. It will only make the reader feel that the story is dragging, or that it contains information that is not needed. Obviously, as a writer, I know that deleting text is painful, but we want our books to be good, don’t we?

The last mistake I will comment on here is one that really bugs me. Sometimes, when you are writing a novel and there are many characters, you can inadvertently change the point of view at some points. I have seen this in some books. After telling the authors, they told me it wasn’t on purpose, so I assume it was an editing mistake. Be careful with point of view. Make sure you are consistent with the point of view you want to use; otherwise, your book will be messy and difficult to follow.

Thanks, Peter, for letting me rant on your blog today!

GIVEAWAY!

Don’t forget to leave a comment, so you can enter the giveaway for the opportunity to win a signed copy of “The Funny Adventures of Little Nani”. If you leave comments in several blogs during the tour, you will get an entry for each comment. So don’t hesitate to comment!

LINKS TO THE BOOKS.

Createspace: https://www.createspace.com/3914481

Amazon (US): http://www.amazon.com/Funny-Adventures-Little-Nani-ebook/dp/B009YMBXJW/ref=tag_dpp_lp_edpp_ttl_in

Amazon (UK): http://www.amazon.co.uk/Funny-Adventures-Little-Nani-ebook/dp/B009YMBXJW/ref=cm_cr_pr_pb_t

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/Austenite78

MEDIA LINKS:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/CintaGarciaRosa

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Cinta-Garc%C3%ADa-de-la-Rosa-Author/333755993341596

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6470058.Cinta_Garc_a_de_la_Rosa

Amazon Author: http://www.amazon.com/Cinta-Garc%C3%ADa-de-la-Rosa/e/B009LHYYSM

Smashwords Author: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/Austenite78

Website: http://www.cintagarciadelarosa.com/

Blogs: http://cintascorner.wordpress.com/ // http://icantstopreadingblog.com/ //

http://authorsyouwanttoread.wordpress.com/

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/CintaGarciaRosa/

Tumblr: http://www.tumblr.com/blog/cintascorner

About.me: http://about.me/cintagarcia

Authorsdb: http://authorsdb.com/authors-directory/1034-cinta-garcia-de-la-rosa

Askdavid.com: http://askdavid.com/reviews/book/children-book/3237

A Quick Update 25/4/13

Morning all, this post was meant to be written last night but after I finished a bit of planning work I read the end of Catching Fire, The second book in The Hunger Games trilogy. It’s good people, definitely worth a read. The ending is amazing and has set the third book up perfectly. This is definitely a 5-Star book. Once I finished that I read a short story by Cinta Garcia de la Rosa (http://www.cintagarciadelarosa.com/) called A Foreigner In London and this one blew me away. if Catching fire is a 5-Star book due to its epic story line, it’s amazing characters, fascinating universe and awesome writing then A Foreigner In London is a 5-Star piece of work because looks at one persons struggle and we, the reader, feel that struggle. I’m lucky enough to know Cinta, I consider her a very dear friend, but I say this as a reader, she is an amazing writer. To get an emotional response out of me like this book did then she has to be. Please go over to her website and check her out, it’s worth a little of your time.

I started writing lasts night but I got about five lines handwritten, and that took me half an hour, I just could not get my head into gear with writing new fiction so I dived into a bit of planning for the story that I’m planning on writing during NaNoWriMo. I know that’s a few months away but I’m seriously beginning to think that I loose momentum when writing because I’m not getting outlines down on paper before I start so I’m giving this a go.

Tonights Post 1/3/13

I have had an amazingly busy day at work today so I got home feeling shattered but I did manage to get some editing done. Me and Owen also had a chat via FaceTime and got some bits and pieces tidied up.

I’m still not being quite as productive as I need to be, I’ve been in a bit of a rut the last few weeks. Fatigue has hit me a little and writing related stuff has been a little hit and miss, although when I am writing it looks good 🙂

A little shout out here to a dear friend and an amazing writer, Cinta Garcia de la Rosa. Cinta has written a great children’s book called; The Funny Adventures Of Little Nani. This is a collection of short stories about a young Witch who is trying to suss out how to use magic. It is funny and imaginative and I can’t wait till I have children to read it to 🙂 Here’s a link to the promo page for Little Nani;

http://cintascorner.weebly.com/book-promo-page.html

Cinta has also just started a new blog where she will post her book reviews. Cinta is a prolific reader so she has plenty of reviews of the books she has read. Its good reading 🙂

http://icantstopreadingblog.com/

On Haywire I am really getting into this one, I’m reading this quicker than I normally read a book so to me that is always a good sign. I’ve also finished series three of Battlestar Galactica as well so I’ll start series four next week.

Scary Owen

And here’s a picture of Owen.

Tonights Update

I’ve read through a few more pages of The Space Watch (Project Delphi) so hopefully this time tomorrow I will have finished the read-through and then saturday I will speak to Owen about his notes and my final few notes.  This is our final draft, once I have made the final alterations it will be off to someone to quickly go through and make sure the grammar is good. I know that our Beta readers will also pull us on grammar but I respect our Beta readers so I don’t want to be embarrassed by our bad grammar lol.

As for reading I’ve finally given up on the book I was reading, it just was not a bit of me. So I’m cracking into Cinta Garcia’s (http://cintascorner.weebly.com/) The Funny Adventures Of Little Nani, I’m loving it so far 😀

 

Look What I’ve Got!

My dear friend Cinta Garcia de la Rosa has not long released her first book, The Funny Adventures Of Little Nani, and I’ve just got my copy!!!!!!! 😀 It is a gorgeous book and I cant wait to get reading it.  Here is Cinta’s website if you want to find out more http://www.cintagarciadelarosa.com/#!home/mainPage

If you have not come across Cinta on Twitter or Facebook etc. then you are missing out. Not only is she a fantastic writer but she is an amazing person too 🙂 The Funny Adventures Of Little Nani is now top of my ‘To-Read’ pile 🙂