Today, I am so pleased to be hosting a stop on the official blog tour for Serafina & the Splintered Heart by Robert Beatty – the third book in the best-selling historical fantasy middle grade series, and on sale NOW! For today’s stop, we have a guest post from Robert, featuring his top 5 writing tips! Be sure to keep reading for more about the book series and the blog tour.
Top 5 Writing Tips from Robert Beatty
As a child, I was an avid reader. I loved the stories of Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, Dickens and T.H. White. One day, when I’d read all the books in the house, my mother gave me a typewriter to tinker with and occupy my time. I started using the typewriter to write my own stories, and I’ve been writing ever since. As an adult, I pursued my passion for writing whenever I could. Forty years after writing those first stories as a young boy, I had my first published novel, Serafina and the Black Cloak.
- Share your work
I think it’s really important to develop a system of feedback that works for you. For me, that means sharing my work throughout the writing process with a trusted circle of readers – family members, friends and professionals – to get their reactions to the story.
While I was writing the Serafina books, my school-age daughters were a big help in fine-tuning the level of spookiness in the work. Every day, when they’d get home from school, I’d read aloud the chapters I’d just completed, and they would give me instant feedback. Sometimes, they’d tell me I’d gone too far with a scary story element or scene; other times, they’d urge me to go further. They were with me every step of the way.
- Make a space to create
I’m definitely not a coffee shop or airport lounge sort of writer. When I write, I need peace and quiet, so I retreat from the home I share with my wife, three daughters, three cats and three dogs, to the barn where I have an office. There, I can focus in solitude for long periods of time on my writing and editing.
- Find the creative process that works for you
For me, the creative process starts with envisioning the entire story, from beginning to end. I refine the idea in my mind until I fall in love with it and have to write the story, or decide the storyline is flawed and should be abandoned. Sometimes it takes a few seconds to explore a story, spot the flaws, and move on; sometimes it takes a few days or weeks even. But I don’t start writing until I’m satisfied the storyline and ideas for key scenes are solid.
- Think of yourself as a storyteller
I love to tell stories, to weave long and twisty tales as if I’m entertaining a bunch of kids at a campfire. Writing, for me, has always had an element of oral storytelling. When I write, I often type and speak out loud at the same time, as if I’m telling a tale. I want people to more than read my stories; I want people to hear them, too. And I want to keep them on the edge of their seats.
Something has happened to Serafina. She has awoken into darkness, scarred from a terrible battle, only to find that life at her home, the historic Biltmore Estate, has changed in unimaginable ways. Old friends do unthinkable things and enemies are all around. A mysterious threat moves towards Biltmore, bringing with it violent storms and flooding that stands to uproot everything in its path. Serafina must uncover the truth about what has happened to her, and find a way to harness her strange new powers before it’s too late.
Accessible storytelling with heart, Beatty’s writing grabs the reader immediately, and the high stakes and gripping mystery will keep them hooked. With an instantly loveable heroine, Serafina’s courage, pluck, and quirk—as well as her longing for friendship—make her impossible not to root for.
ABOUT BOOKS ONE AND TWO:
Serafina and the Black Cloak is a New York Times, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and an Independent Booksellers best seller. It has been on the New York Times list for more than 45 weeks, and was the winner of the 2016 Pat Conroy Southern Book Prize for representing “the best in Southern literature.” It was also named by The Huffington Post as one of the “10 Best Books for Little Introverts”, and was named the #1 Middle Grade Novel of 2015 on Goodreads.com (Listopia).
Serafina and the Twisted Staff was a #1 New York Times best seller in the first week it launched, and earned a starred review from Kirkus Reviews, who said, “Even better than its predecessor, a sequel that delivers nonstop thrills from beginning to end.” It was also included in Amazon’s “Best of 2016” list for 9 to 12 year olds. It is also an Amazon, Barnes &Noble, and an Independent Booksellers bestselling novel.
ROBERT BEATTY lives in the mountains of Asheville, North Carolina, with his wife and three daughters. He writes full-time now, but in his past lives he was one of the pioneers of cloud computing, the founder/CEO of Plex Systems, the co-founder of Beatty Robotics, and the CTO and chairman of Narrative magazine. Visit him online at www.robert-beatty.com and on Twitter @BeattyAuthor.
- Monday, June 26th: Mundie Kids, Review
- Tuesday, June 27th: Mugglenet, Interview
- Wednesday, June 28th: Fiktshun, Review
- Thursday, June 29th: YA Books Central, Top Five Reasons Why I Wrote the Serafina Series
- Friday, June 30th: Lille Punkin’, Spotlight and Giveaway
- Monday, July 3rd: YA Books Central, Trailer Spotlight and Giveaway Post
- Tuesday, July 4th: Page Turner’s Blog, Playlist Post
- Wednesday, July 5th: I’m Shelf-ish, Spotlight and Giveaway
- Thursday, July 6th: Novel Novice, Top Five Writing Tips from Robert Beatty
- Friday, July 7th: Fire and Ice, Spotlight and Giveaway