Tuesday, October 30, 2018

RELEASE THE NOVEL IN YOU - Gina Conroy - One Free Book


Welcome back, Gina. What would you like for our readers to know about you personally?
My life has been in transition for the last 5 years, and I’m finally feeling a peace and stability in my life I haven’t felt in decades. I’ve worked really hard to become the person I’ve always wanted to be and in addition to writing fiction and writing books, I’ll be sharing about my experiences in a few nonfiction books I’m working on.

Tell us about your family.
I’m almost an empty nester with one a 16-year-old daughter at home who is independent with her own car and busy with school, theatre, and a job. But I cherish the late-night conversations with her. My other 3 sons are in various stages of life: two in college, and one pursuing a career in film and editing in Los Angeles. He recently went on tour with Idina Menzel to film and edit her documentary. I’m very proud of all my children who are following their dreams and using the gift God has given them.

That’s wonderful. Have you written other nonfiction books?
I plan to do a second book in this series called Strengthen the Novel in You. It will focus on the editing process. I also have several ideas for a series of genre writing work books: Release the Mystery in You, Release the Memoir in You,etc.

Do you have any other books in the works right now?
It’s been several years since I published fiction, but I overcame a huge hurdle this month when I published a new Christmas Mystery called Golden Belles are Wringing. It’s part of the 12 Mysteries of Christmas collection. I had written other novels since my last published ones, but I never finished or published them. About a year ago, I decided to do something that was difficult and that scared me. Since there was something blocking me from finishing and publishing a novel, I joined a collection so I’d have some accountability. It started off slow, but the last six months I focused most of my free time on this novel. There were many weekends I put in 16-hour days saying “no” to family events and friends, but I felt it was something I needed to do to prove to myself that I could do write fiction again. And I did. Now that I’m unblocked I’m making plans for my next novel, after a much needed rest, of course.     

Great. I’d love to feature you with the 12 Mysteries of Christmas collection. What kinds of hobbies and leisure activities do you enjoy?
About 8 years ago I started swing dancing, and I haven’t stopped. In fact, I’ve learned most of the ballroom dances and now teach beginners how to dance. I find such satisfaction in showing someone who thinks they can’t dance, that they can.

Why did you write the featured book?
Release the Novel in You started as an email course I taught. In the summer, I’d offered the course to our community college, and it was a hit, but it was hard for teen to fit the class into their schedule. That’s when I decided to put my course material in a workbook to reach more people and so teens and adults can get the basic elements of novel writing in an easy-to-use format. I hope to get this course online so more people can take advantage of the fun and easy approach to writing a novel.

What do you want the reader to take away from the book?
Release the Novel in You is the perfect prep for NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month which is in November. You don’t have to read a big complicated book on the craft of writing to get your idea down on paper and write your first draft. Release the Novel in You takes you step by step through the brainstorming process and allows you work through exercises using examples from classic movies so you can follow the plots and see the elements that make up a story. In addition to plotting and characterization, I cover the basics of good writing. It’s marketed as a teen writing workbook, but many adults have enjoyed the simple process that helped get their novel idea out of their head and onto paper.

Is there anything else you’d like to tell my readers about you or your book?
If you’ve had a story idea burning inside for a while and have been afraid to tackle a complicated writing book, or you just don’t know where to start with your novel, Release the Novel in You will help you get your idea out of your head and on the page. It’s the perfect prewriting workbook for NaNoWriMo. Once you start to work through the story elements and prompts designed to further your story, you’ll see your story come to life. Then the rest is up to you! 

Official blurb
You have a novel inside of you - a dream to tell your story - but you don’t know where to start. Maybe you don’t even know what to write. Perfect! This book will release the novel in you! From idea to first draft, you will learn what every story needs to be successful. You’ll find your story and create three-dimensional characters people will want to read. You’ll learn to hook your reader and how to structure and craft a dynamic and powerful, page-turning plot that will have readers wanting more. In addition, you’ll review the mechanics of good writing and you’ll learn to write in a way that will have your words jumping off the page and painting a picture in the reader’s mind. Everything you need to get started on writing your novel is in this book. Don’t put your dream off another day.

Review
“How do you teach a young person how to write a novel?  It’s not enough to expose them to good books--although that is essential.  And they need more than simply a breakdown of plot.  All writers, regardless of their age or level, need to understand the nuances of story, the layers of a character, how to put a scene together as well as how to wordsmith their stories.  However, teaching a young person these elements can feel stale and overwhelming.  They’re driven by their passion--but they need a few rules and parameters to help them build a winning story.

Enter Gina Conroy’s terrifically fun and creative writing primer for teens-Release the Novel in You! Gina has a heart for teen writers and she’s put that heart into crafting a writing instruction book that doesn’t feel like a writing instruction book.  From its engaging and fun presentation, delightful acronyms, playful look at analyzing a story and application sections, it takes the rules out of writing and turns it back into what it should be—fun!  Practical and specific, it covers everything from story structure, to characterization, to the hero’s journey to writing fixes—everything an intermediate writer needs to take their story from an idea on the page to a novel.

I’ve known Gina for years—watching her learn these very techniques, put them into action in her novels, and help teenagers dive into the world of storycrafting.  Her techniques are guaranteed to put the fun back into learning how to write and to release the budding novelist in you!”

Susan May Warren
 RITA and Christy award-winning, best-selling novelist and nationally acclaimed writing coach 

Please give us the first page or two from the book.
Writing is P.L.A.Y! 
Elements of a Story

Writing is a form of P.L.A.Y. Sometimes it’s fun, sometimes it’s work, but it’s always worth it! Every story contains four elements. If one is missing, then your story is incomplete. Different writers and teachers may use different words for these elements, but in essence, they’re all the same. 
Playmate:        Who is your story about? What other people (or creatures) are in your story? (Character, protagonist, hero, heroine, villain) 
Location:        Where does your story happen? On earth or in a far away galaxy? (Setting) 
Action:              What happens in your story? (Plot) 
Your Game:      What is YOUR story about? Can you tell me in a few sentences? (Theme) If not, don’t worry. We’re going to explore several different story themes and by the end you should be able to know which game you want to play! 

Finding Your Theme
So are you ready to P.L.A.Y!!? Not yet!
Before you go out to play you have to decide on a game. And the game you play is only limited by YOUR imagination! Before you throw words on the page, you should think about your story’s theme, then decide which game is best to play with the theme you’ve chosen. Using YOUR imagination, the game play is endless!
What is a theme?
A theme is a universal truth, big idea, or a concept that touches all people no matter their age, status, race, or language.
A theme helps focus your emotions and conflict in the story.
The message is what you want to say about your theme, and the story question is the question your reader should ask throughout your novel. If done well, the message should be something your writer ponders after he puts the book down.

Themes and Story Questions

Explore these universal themes and questions, and write your thoughts next to the ones that spark a story idea.

Beauty
·             What is true beauty?
        Youth and beauty
        Fading beauty
        Vanity
        Beauty in nature
        Temporary nature of physical beauty

Dreams
·             Is there a price to pay for your dreams?
        Loss of dream
        Rekindled dream
        Disillusionment and dreams
        Emptiness of attaining false dream
        Fear of failure
          Fulfilled dream: Was it worth the cost?

Where on the Internet can the readers find you?
Email: gina@ginaconroy.com
http://ginaconroy.com
Facebook  Author Gina Conroy
Twitter @GinaConroy
Instagram @gina_conroy 

Here’s a link to the book:

Thank you, Gina, for sharing this book with us. I was impressed with it the first time I picked it up.

Readers, leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. You must follow these instructions to be in the drawing. Please tell us where you live, at least the state or territory or country if outside North America. (Comments containing links may be subject to removal by blog owner.)

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4 comments:

Connie Porter Saunders said...

This sounds like a perfect book for writers or wanna-be authors. Thanks for sharing.
Blessings!
Connie from Kentucky
cps1950(at)gmail(dot)com

Melanie Backus said...

This book could be very helpful. Thank you for sharing. Melanie Backus, TX

Loraine Nunley said...

I have a teen who is a writer and this sounds like a great resource for her. Thanks for sharing it and this giveaway.

Loraine in Texas

Sharon Bryant said...

Enter me!!
Conway SC.