Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Crazy Kings & Winning Stuff!

Y'all, I'm hitting the writing cave so hard, I'm going cross-eyed. Please forgive me for being the absentee writer-friend. I promise to be back very soon, with a vengance... and a new book!

In the meantime, I couldn't resist letting a fellow Indelible writer-friend Laura Pauling (link). stop by today to tell us about her super-fun middle-grade book about the Mayans, ancient spells, and crazy kings, and down there at the bottom, you can win stuff!

Published by Pugalicious Press

Get me!
When Bianca and Melvin brave the jungle to rescue their grandfather, they stumble upon the ancient Maya city of Etza, where the people haven’t aged in 2,000 years. They must learn to work together as they face loincloth-wearing skeletons from the underworld, a backstabbing princess, and an ancient prophecy that says in three days the city will be destroyed.

No problem. They’ll find Zeb and zip right out of there. The fact that a crazy king wants to serve Bianca up to the gods as an appetizer is just a minor technicality. But this ancient evil dude has finally met his match.

The Story Behind the Story

I remember the day. This was before I started writing. Sure, I’d dabbled in it but it hadn’t taken hold in my life as a daily activity or a possible career. The scent of a story would hover around me, begging me to write. I’d watch a movie or read a good book and the urge would increase, weighing me down, until I had to spit out some words and start plotting.
I’ve always loved time travel and I love learning, so I chose a culture I knew absolutely nothing about! The Maya. Oy. (More to come on research later.)

Eventually I had a first draft. A crappy first draft. I remember reading advice to revise. But I looked over my story and I couldn’t think of one thing to change. Ha! Then I joined a critique group. Oh boy, did I revise, rewrite, re-envision. Over a couple years it was shaping up.

Something still wasn’t quite right. The title was okay. But something in the words and the tone of the story felt flat. I put it aside and wrote a second and third story. And I realized I never should’ve spent three years rewriting the same story. I should’ve moved on a lot earlier.

Eventually, with more experience behind me, I revisited my middle grade time travel. And bingo! I realized that rewriting it in first person might add that special pizzazz I knew was missing. And the title changed to what it is today. Of course, more scenes were added and deleted. It wasn’t just a matter of switching out pronouns.

I queried for a bit. Then I moved on. Last spring, I self published my YA, A Spy Like Me, and then started writing the sequel. But something about How To Survive Ancient Spells and Crazy Kings wouldn’t let go of me.

So after much debate, I submitted to Pugalicious Press. And Voila! I’m extremely excited to send this book baby out into the world. It’s been inexistence in one form another for years!

Thanks, Leigh, for hosting me on the tour!

How To Survive Ancient Spells and Crazy Kings released in November. Pugalicious Press did a fantastic job, and I’m extremely happy with the results. This book would make a fantastic gift for boys or girls who enjoy adventure stories with lots of excitement!

You can purchase it on Amazon or Barnes and Noble. You can read the first chapter here. Check out the teacher's guide.

Thankfully, my journey is just beginning and I’m excited to see where it leads.

Click here for the list of blog tour stops! Enter to win these prize packages!

Prize Package One (signed paperbacks)

Prize Package Two (signed paperbacks)

Prize Package Three

Giveaway has ended.

Also, a quick shout out to Juliana Haygert!

Her new book Her Heart's Secret Wish (link) releases today, 12/12/12.
Get me!

What a fun release date!

Be sure to check it out, and have a super rest of the week, reader- and writer-friends!

I'll be back Friday with a Big Surprise! It's so great to see all our writer-friends doing so well.

More soon~ <3


Natalie Aguirre said...

Thanks for sharing how your book came to be Laura. I've always been intrigued by the Mayans so am excited to read your book.

Good luck in the writing cave, Leigh.

Stina said...

I'm waiting to get this one for my kids. Unfortunately our major book chain in Canada doesn't have it. :(

Pat Hatt said...

Always interesting to hear how books come to be, hope you are uncrossed eyed now at your sea.

Carolyn Abiad said...

Mayans are scary cool stuff! Thanks for sharing your story, Laura.

Anonymous said...

Congrats, Laura! What a fun read!

Old Kitty said...

What a great story of how you got your novel out into the world, Laura!! Thanks for sharing!! Very inspirational, from first draft to polished shiny published novel! Wonderful! take care

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Amazing what changing point of view can do for a book! Congratulations, Laura.

Lynda R Young as Elle Cardy said...

Congrats again to Laura and Juliana.

Rebecca Green Gasper said...

Love hearing the story behind the stories. Good luck!

LTM said...

@Carolyn--I know, right? Love it~ :o)

@LBD--It's a fantastic topic, and great for kids, I think. Heck, even for adults! Indiana Jones, anyone! :D <3

@Rebecca--Me, too! I'm sure kids will love this one~ <3