Blog Tour- Midnight Tales

I’ve always loved myths, tales, and folklores. I think that’s why I’ve always been drawn to reading fantasy novels. I love when an author creates a world so vivid and real that it has it’s own tales and myths associated with it. Immediately, when I think of this aspect in fantasy, I think of Leigh Bardugo. Her Grishaverse has become so real to me-it is so detailed and expertly crafted- it’s hard for me to believe that it’s not real!

I am so, so excited for the release of The Language of Thorns (which releases TODAY) because it goes into the myths of the land. I love the idea of reading the folklores that the characters I’ve come to love might have heard about their own history and lands history. I love to think of The Darkling as a child, or a young teen, growing up, absorbing the world around him. What stories might Nina have heard as a child? Plus, even people new to the series (ok, really if you’ve not read these books get on it now) can pick these stories up.

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I’m less of a writer myself and tend to express myself in photography. I love staging pictures (especially pictures of books) so I created an image of some of my Grisha book collection. I hope you’ll enjoy it and I’d love for you to let me know in the comments what types of stories or myths are your favorites? Do you love for your fantasy books to have a rich and detailed world?

34076952The Language of Thorns
By: Leigh Bardugo
Release Date: September 26, 2017
Publisher: Macmillan/Imprint

Summary:
Love speaks in flowers. Truth requires thorns.

Travel to a world of dark bargains struck by moonlight, of haunted towns and hungry woods, of talking beasts and gingerbread golems, where a young mermaid’s voice can summon deadly storms and where a river might do a lovestruck boy’s bidding but only for a terrible price.

Inspired by myth, fairy tale, and folklore, #1 New York Times bestselling author Leigh Bardugo has crafted a deliciously atmospheric collection of short stories filled with betrayals, revenge, sacrifice, and love.

Perfect for new readers and dedicated fans, these tales will transport you to lands both familiar and strange-to a fully realized world of dangerous magic that millions have visited through the novels of the Grishaverse.

This collection of six stories includes three brand-new tales, all of them lavishly illustrated with art that changes with each turn of the page, culminating in six stunning full-spread illustrations as rich in detail as the stories themselves.

 

 

 

The Slumps of All Slumps

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Hi there. It’s been a while since I’ve really been on social media a lot or blogged consistently. I thought I’d just let you know that I’m still around and I’m starting to feel the urge to blog again. I don’t know what happened but I had the WORST slump! It all started with me getting sick in February and it lasting…oh the whole month.

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I got a sinus infection and right after I got over that I caught some icky cold virus. These both hit me hard and had me in bedridden. I have kept up with my reading but my pace is so slooooow. I’ve been trying to take notes and get my reviews written but I’ve slacked on creativity and replying, and commenting.

I’m not entirely sure why I’ve felt so unmotivated but I guess burn out is real. I’ve been blogging for 3 years so I guess it had to happen at some point? I’ve had small slumps but nothing like this. I really thought about walking away and not looking back. That feeling went away (thank goodness!).

But behind my slump I have read some great books: Lady Midnight, Wink Poppy  Midnight, The Steep and Thorny Way, and more. Right now I’m reading The Rose and The Dagger. If you follow me on Goodreads you might be saying…didn’t she start that AGES ago? Yes, yes I did. I put it aside to try to make progress on my review books that released January and February. But! I’ve picked it back up and I’m thrilled.

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I wanted to just say that I love you! Thank you for sticking with me and reading my very sporadic posts.

Why you shouldn’t force it- or should you?

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And by it I mean, force yourself to be creative, write posts, read those review books, etc. I find that I get in modes where doing anything related to My Friends Are Fiction feels like a battle of wills. My brain feels sluggish; my motivation is stalled- I have zero ability to actually produce anything of quality. And yet, I have the desire to be productive. I want nothing more to improve my blog, present content to my readers and yet…I still say- don’t force it.

Walk away for a little bit and read a book you don’t have to review.

I find that when inspiration for blogging hits it hits like a train and my brain is full of ideas, inspiration and the words just flow. I often wonder if it feels like this for authors? I always hear…make yourself write some every day. I wonder if that is effective?

Today I needed to work some on another project but I found myself wasting at least an hour staring at the screen with no inspiration. I figure- maybe I should just stop and go do something else. If I continue to stare blankly at my screen will I magically become able to produce something? I highly doubt it.

For our dear readers I’m of the opinion that they can feel when we are forcing our content. I think the passion to blog or write is obvious to those that follow. When we struggle I think it shows.

Do you force yourself or go with the mood as it hits? Do you have the luxury to go with your moods?

I imagine a lot of the time we have deadlines (especially our author friends). I’d love to hear your thoughts on it. As a blog reader- can you tell when content is forced or when it’s been passionately created?

How to Love Your Blog Again

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If you’re like me there are times where you look at your internet home and feel only hearts and butterflies. You love your small space in the cyber-verse. But then doubt sets in. One day you look at your blog and think- it’s not that great. I’m not providing anything new.

I think this is a normal cycle for the blogger. We all have our ups and downs. I can tell you that from my personal experience I have had many, many moments of self doubt in my nearly three years at this hobby.

What can you do to help pull you from this negative rut?

Of course there isn’t a one size fits all answer -but some things DO help me.

Take some time off.

Just take a couple of days and focus on reading, TV or another hobby (Netflix is your friend…or is mine anyway). I find that I’ll spend all my free time staring at my laptop and sometimes just removing myself from my typical space helps to wake up my brain.

Visit OTHER blogs.

And don’t just stick to book blogs. Explore the wide world of personalities out there. Start thinking about what blogs you enjoy. Do they have a personal touch? Voice? Sometimes this helps me remember that my blog is my space. It’s my voice and I’m proud of that.

Think about what your goal was when you first started.

I expected my parents and my sister to occasionally read but THAT WAS IT. I never expected that people I’d not met would stumble upon my blog and read, comment and like it. Connecting again with the basics of why I started My Friends Are Fiction does help me to realize how far I’ve traveled and it really makes me want to hug this online diary of sorts. This little domain has been my home for nearly 3 years.

Connect with other bloggers and readers.

I find that chatting with other bloggers really inspires me. I don’t know if you were in music or art class but just being around other artistic people helped to inspire and branch my thinking outside of my typical mental box. I can’t begin to tell you how many people in the community have inspired me or helped to build my excitement again. It is truly amazing to have a group of people at your finger-tips with similar interests as your own.

Design or Template Change

I’ve only changed the look of My Friends Are Fiction once but it did really help me feel reinvigorated. I had grown tired of staring at the same thing for so long it was nice to mix things up and have to challenge myself to use a new template.

Throw Out the Rules

I know for me I tend to put regulations and rules on myself. I’ll start to get stuck in a fairly narrow box that I’ve created and this tends to tap down on my creativity. I have to remember that there really aren’t any hard rules to blogging (other than the obvious ones like not plagiarizing, etc). This is my space and so I have the freedom to post as often or little as I’d like.

I hope some of this might help you love your blog again and if you have any methods or a post on a similar topic I’d love to see it!

Leave your comments and links please!

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Let’s Take a Moment to Appreciate Erin Fitzsimmons- Cover Designer

I am admittedly shallow and choose books based on their covers. The artwork does so much to steer my expectations and grab my interest when selecting what book to obsess over.

One of my favorite designers is Erin Fitzsimmons. Don’t recognize her name? She’s behind some of your favorite Harper covers and text. I interviewed her a couple of years ago and you can read it here to get more insight into the designer process. Today I wanted to highlight some of my favorite covers she’s created.

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Look at all of these incredibly beautiful covers. Coming soon we’ll be seeing her cover for Julie Eshbaugh’s debut Ivory and Bone. I can’t wait to see what she creates since this book is so off the typical YA beaten path (a historical with an icy landscape and I’m hoping for mammoths).

What’s your favorite cover Erin has created?

Check out these other interviews with Erin