An interview with YA Author Hope Bolinger

Hope Bolinger Headshot

Hope Bolinger is younger than my children and makes me jealous to see all she’s accomplished in her young life. Now that I’ve confessed it, LOL, on with the interview. Welcome Hope, it’s so fun to have young blood on my blog. It reminds readers we can follow our writing dreams at any age. Tell my readers a little about your writing journey.

I started writing novels in high school. I buried myself in books and wrote just about everything I could.

Fourteen novels later, I found myself at Taylor University’s professional writing program, which offered a student scholarship to attend the Maranatha Christian Writer’s Conference. Having just completed Blaze (a modern-day Daniel) over the summer, I decided to pitch it to every editor I could fit a one on one for. Eddie, the editor at LPC, gave me some edits to fix the three-chapter sample but encouraged me to send it to the YA imprint of LPC.

It made it past Pub Board, but had a number of edits needed after they reviewed the full. After I went back and forth several times with the managing editor, it was polished and ready to go.

I remember getting the acceptance email in the college parking lot after my friends and I had seen a rather solemn viewing of Avengers: Infinity War. It was going to be published.

Tell us about Blaze

Blaze is being released in June. It essentially is the first three chapters of Daniel plopped into an American high school. It follows the story of Danny as he, and three of his closest friends, are transferred to their rival after his school mysteriously burns down.

Great story idea. How did you research to create your story?

This one was unique because it involved a lot of research into the time of the Babylonians, commentaries on Daniel, and just about everything in the 500-400 BC range. For this one, I spent a lot of time buried in books in the Old Testament to make sure I included as much symbolism and historical references as possible. Also, having written this from a male’s perspective, I made sure to have some male friends look over the manuscript to make sure Danny walked, talked, and sounded like a high school sophomore.

Yeah, guys gotta sound like guys. Why a retelling of the Book of Daniel?

I was sitting in an Old Testament class in which we blazed (buh dum tssh) through the Old Testament in a semester. On the day we covered the book of Daniel, my professor said something along the lines of, “Daniel and his friends would’ve been about 14 to 16 years old when the Babylonians took them into captivity.”

I sort of jolted in my seat, thinking, “Wait. Fifteen years old?”

Here are these four brave men who stood up to Kings, and they were just teens. Not to mention they were extremely involved in Babylonian culture and had to be adept at just about everything.

Then I thought, “What would that look like today? To get involved in a completely different culture but still stand up for what you believe in . . . as a teen?” Blaze was born.

When did you realize your calling to create words on paper to share with the world?

It’s hard to pinpoint a certain time when I didn’t write. I have copies of three-page stories I made in first grade buried somewhere in my room. But I didn’t actually take it on as a full-time calling until my AP Lit teacher in high school, in a passing remark, noted I wrote well. Granted, she gave me a B on that paper, but it stuck with me. In that moment, I thought, “Wow. I could actually do this.”

Taylor’s professional writing program helped solidify that. We had articles published our first semester (I got a little too into it and had 300 published by the time I graduated), and we walked through just about every aspect of the publishing industry. I’m forever indebted to the instructors there.

Do you have a favorite verse that resonates with you?

It used to be Colossians 3:17. I loved the idea to do everything for Christ.

But lately the whole chapter of Psalm 103 has helped. Like Danny, I struggle with anxiety, but those verses have helped keep me calm and at peace, especially during some very dark spiritual episodes this past semester.

I usually ask this question to much older authors. 😊 But I’m curious  about your answer. If you could go back in time and give one piece of advice for your younger self about writing what would that be?

Learn to accept criticism. It took me a while to realize that writing takes a lot of work. I think I had this idea that I would just write a book, throw it through spell check, and viola! Off to the publisher it went!

. . . not quite. It takes an insane amount of time and dedication, and more often than not, the editor is always right.

Who is your best support system to keep you focused on your writing?

I always throw it back to my best friend James. I’ve known him for four years, and every time I want to quit, he refuses to let me. He reads just about everything I send him and is my biggest cheerleader.

What is your favorite genre to read for fun?

Of course, YA. I think YA writers have way too much fun. I also love diving into the Classics. I love to know why a book stood the test of time.

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Here’s the back cover copy of Blaze

If you can’t stand the heat, don’t walk into the fire.

Danny knew his sophomore year would be stressful . . . but he didn’t expect his school to burn down on the first day.

To make matters worse (and they were about to get a lot worse), he — and his three best friends — receive an email in their inboxes from the principal of their rival, King’s Academy, offering full-rides to attend the town’s prestigious boarding school. Danny wants nothing to do with King’s Academy and says no. Of course his mother says yes. So off he goes to be bullied and picked on for not being part of the popular and rich “in crowd.”

From day one at King’s, Danny encounters hazing, mocking insults from girls at the “popular and pretty” table, and cafeteria food that, for such a prestigious school, tastes as if it were purchased from a military surplus supply warehouse. If he survives, Danny will have to overcome his fears of failure, rejection, and loneliness–all while standing strong in his beliefs and walking into the fire.

 

Intriguing . I want it read. 

Who is Hope Bolinger?

Hope Bolinger is a literary agent at C.Y.L.E. and a recent graduate of Taylor University’s professional writing program. More than 300 of her works have been featured in various publications ranging from Writer’s Digest to Keys for Kids. She has worked for various publishing companies, magazines, newspapers, and literary agencies and has edited the work of authors such as Jerry B. Jenkins and Michelle Medlock Adams. Her column “Hope’s Hacks,” tips and tricks to avoid writer’s block, reaches 2,700+ readers weekly and is featured monthly on Cyle Young’s blog, which receives 63,000+ monthly hits. She is excited for her modern-day Daniel “Blaze” to come out with IlluminateYA (an imprint of Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas). She enjoys all things theater, cats, and fire.

 

Contact Info:

Facebook: @therosewoman

Twitter: @hopebolinger

Instagram: @hopebolinger

Website: hopebolinger.com

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Hope-Bolinger/e/B00V0VWFKQ?ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_fkmrnull_1&qid=1550020518&sr=8-1-fkmrnull

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13700140.Hope_Bolinger

 

Earthshine Characters influenced creator Kadee Carder’s Life and a Giveaway

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I’ve invited Kadee Carder back to share a bit about how her characters Saylor and Tucker evolved in her new fantasy Earthshine and their influence on her life.

Windchimes swung in the background. A gentle wind hummed. Fingers picked the tinny strings of an acoustic guitar, one at a time cascading into a tender melody.

“Belief in the breeze

The smoky morning haze

The sun on her face

and the touch of lovers’ hands

The pain that comes today

Is here, then goes away

And we are homeward bound

And I

I want this more than life…”

Whitley’s version of the song, “More Than Life,” brought Saylor and Tucker into my mind, sitting on a porch swing, watching the sun set.

The two characters have stayed with me over the years, as I have traversed their roads, through wet marshes, muddy mountain trails, and the wilds of the Australian outback. What would they be doing right now, I’d ask myself. The hard part about meeting characters and following their stories is that they stay with you, real as friends. Their lives influenced mine. Their stories shaped mine. So, in that smoky morning haze, in the golden, setting sun, what would they be doing, I’d revisit the question in my memory.

Would Saylor ever be satisfied with her ending?

What would she want more than life?

Through the years spent writing the Insurrection trilogy and agonizing hours spent trying to market books, I found myself down. I couldn’t find any tangible success. Blow by blow, each step I’d attempt to progress as an author met with resistance after resistance. The rejection and failure ate away at my spirit. It seemed like nobody cared. And from the ashes of broken dreams, from the depths of dark nights, of agony, of restlessness, of inability to wait with inaction, the story of EARTHSHINE came to be. Could a girl who’s “done the hard thing” once more rise to the occasion? You see, there is not just one “hard thing” to face in life. There will be one, then another, and another. Each time more difficult, each time more unhinged and chaotic, each time drawing the protagonist further into the hero position. What would Saylor do when asked to face her greatest fears, knowing they are real?

I wasn’t ready to write EARTHSHINE when the words began spilling out. It began with another title – Deadlight.

Halfway through, exploring the theme and tone brought on by the title “dead-light” generated, the word no longer fit. Is death the finale? While it served as an intriguing vocabulary word, no, it didn’t fit with Saylor and Tucker’s story. Theirs is a story of perseverance, of love, of hope. Of reflection. Of audacity. Of moxie. Of grit. One morning as I began to wrap up the final chapters on my manuscript, my “Word of the Day” email popped into my inbox. The term, “earthshine,” lit up my screen. In fact, it lit up my eyes from its first appearance, because earthshine means…well…I suppose you’ll have to read the book to find out.

I hope you will.

I hope you enjoy the story that had to be written.

I hope you may also get back up, once your heart has broken.

I hope you will be the one who shows up, builds up, and believes.

May you be the light, shining into the abyss. May you be someone’s Earthshine.

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Earthshine Blurb:

 

Fear may be a liar, but hope can be a monster.

Saylor single-handedly saved the world from a devastating solar flare…and it nearly killed her. Now her father’s Alliance Military Guard must track down pirated tech, missing ships, and a rogue billionaire, and they’ve requested a reluctant Saylor’s help.

Tucker spent a year training the rookie Guardsmen. They call themselves Dragons. He calls them defiant. Dispatched across the ocean on a mission to retrieve AMG’s bootlegged tech, he rallies Saylor to overcome her fears and return to the field by his side.

Working together wielding unprecedented tech and determined to defy their destinies, the two wrangle missing ghosts, brunt force betrayal, and the swagger of power. What lies beneath the earth just might save it.

 

EARTHSHINE is the final book following the McConnell clan and Alliance Military Guard, a standalone for the seeker of YA Sci Fi Action Adventures.

 

Purchase EARTHSHINE on Amazon in paperback or ebook:

 Thanks, Kadee for your interesting revelation. I always like to learn how characters affect the author’s lives.

Who is Kadee?

Fierce yet sparkly, I rally seekers to thrive in their stories. The goal is magic, the medium is ink, and the fuel is coffee. And sometimes pizza. I teach English on the university level when I’m not dancing around the living room with my family, lifting heavy at the gym, traveling the planet, or binging superhero shows.

More of Kadee’s books and how to connect with her

INSURRECTION, INCOMPLETE, INDELIBLE, HERE BE DRAGONS, EARTHSHINE and non-fiction inspirational KINGDOM COME roll out perilous motives, twisty plots, and daring protagonists. Grab some real estate and your copy of my latest adventure and follow along on KadeeCarder.com.

 

Visit http://www.kadeecarder.com for inspiration, encouragement, freebie codes, and more!

Let’s connect on social media!

Website: kadeecarder.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kadeecarderink/

Instagram: kadeecarderink

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCAkYQcShpWHBua-7VVi9Swg

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/kadeecarder/

Twitter: @kadeecarderink

And please feel free to subscribe for encouraging blogs! Kadeecarder.com

A Giveaway:

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I’m giving away a free, empowering e-book to those who subscribe to my email list at kadeecarder.com/subscribe. Titled IGNITE, the 60-page book offers a serving of inspiration, a dash of hope, and a cup of grace to help you get kickin’ on those challenging tasks you’ve got to do!

 

**Grab Book Three of the Insurrection trilogy, INDELIBLE, for only $.99 this week!**

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If you enjoy author interviews and learning about other writerly stuff subscribe to received Jubilee Writer as new post become available.

 

Fantasy Author M.R. Anglin Stops By for a Chat

Today I welcome YA fantasy writer M.R. Anglin to Jubilee Writer. She’s not a newbie to the publishing scene just new to me. Her story is so fun I can’t wait for you to hear it. Take it away M.R.

MRAnglin Author pic

My writing journey started out with a video game system. When I was 11 or so, I got a Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES) for my birthday with the game, Super Mario World (SMW). I loved that game so much that I started writing stories about the characters and world.

 

After that I branched out to write my first original story starring a dog named Lisha, a character I still use as an avatar on some websites to this day. Her country (Lyeland) is also the name of my website.

As much as I loved that story, it failed. Out of that failure came my self-published series, Silver Foxes, which I originally wrote for posting online. I am currently revising those stories to release in print and e-book formats. I put out about one a year and am currently getting ready to release the 7th in the series.

Between working on those stories, I write other Young Adult (YA) and Middle Grade (MG) books. In 2012 my Christian MG fantasy adventure book, Lucas, Guardian of Truth released in 2012. My latest book—a Christian-inspired YA fantasy adventure called Prince of the Sun, Princess of the Moon—released Feb. 20, 2018.

I love that you didn’t let anything stop you. There is such a need for inspirational MG and YA books and you are working to fill that need. So cool.  Now what is your latest published project?

Six Weeks, the 7th book in my anthro fantasy fiction series (Silver Foxes) is coming soon . . . maybe July sometime. But my latest published book, Prince of the Sun, Princess of the Moon released Feb. 20, 2018.

 Research is key when I’m writing Historical, I’ve never tackled fantasy. How do you research for that?

I don’t =0. I write first and make sense of what I wrote afterward. If there’s something I absolutely have to look up, I google it. But most of my writing stems from what I already know or from what I can put together in my mind.

You have a wonderful, creative imagination to put together story worlds like yours.

Tell me, what inspired you to write your current book?

I have several inspirations for Prince of the Sun, Princess of the Moon. The two major inspirations are my niece and nephew. I came up with the idea for “day-people” and “night-people” in my book when I noticed my niece liked to sleep during the day when she was a baby. (FYI: In my book, day-people are those who get energy from the sun and fall asleep as soon as the moon hits them. Night people gain energy from the moon and sleep as soon as the sun hits them.)

 

 

My next inspiration is the old Greek and Roman myths. They inspired Helio and Lumina, the Guardians of the sun and moon, respectively. Astronomy is also a big inspiration to the entire series.

Then we have the Bible verse that is written in the front of the book: Joshua 10:12b-13 where it speaks of the sun and moon stopping in the sky. If you read the book, you’ll see that inspiration pretty clearly.

Fascinating!

With all this creativity running through your veins when did you realize your calling to create words on paper to share with the world?

My second semester in college. I was on my way to being a doctor when I realized, “I don’t want to do this.” Then, clear as day, God spoke to my heart and said, “You are going to be a writer.” I changed my major to English the next semester.

 I see you took His calling to heart right away. Do you have a favorite verse that resonates with you?

Ps. 45: 11 NIV “The king is enthralled by your beauty. Honor him for he is your lord.” Any insecurity I feel fades in light of this truth.

Wonderful verse.

Let’s change directions a bit and let me ask one of my favorite questions.

If you could go back in time and give one piece of advice for your younger self about writing what would that be?

Trying to make it as a professional writer is not easy. Don’t think it is. So very true.

 Who is your best support system to keep you focused on your writing?

God, really. I would have given up trying to make it long ago, but He won’t let me.

Best support ever.

What is your favorite genre to read for fun?

MG adventure

Where is your favorite place to write?

Anywhere, really. I totally get that.

It has been a delight to have you with me today. Thanks so much for visiting.

More about  M. R. Anglin:

M.R. Anglin has always had a fascination with space—particularly the moon and stars. She also has three amazing nephews, three adorable “near-nephews,” and one brilliant niece, so it’s no wonder she eventually wrote a story that combines these loves into one when she wrote her book, Prince of the Sun, Princess of the Moon. You can often find her gazing up at the Florida sky at night or hunching over her notebook/computer by day.

She is the author of several books, including the self-published, ongoing Silver Foxes series and Lucas, Guardian of Truth (LampPost 2012). She has also had stories included in anthologies and posted online.

Links:

Facebook: http://facebook.com/authoranglin

Twitter: @authoranglin

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/mranglin

Instagram: http://instagram.com/authoranglin

Deviantart: http://deviantart.com/michelay

Website: http://lyeland.com

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/authoranglin

 

Buy Link:  https://www.amazon.com/Prince-Princess-Moon-Rulers-Galaxy-ebook/dp/B078T6KJSN

 

Author Kadee Cader Shares About Here Be Dragons and Giveaways

My final interview for 2017 is with Clean Reads author Kadee Carder. I hope you find our conversation as interesting and fun as I did. Read to the bottom for her varied giveaways. Kadee, welcome to Jubilee Writer. I must say even your title Here Be Dragons sounds fun. Tell us about this new release.

 

HereBeDragons_1400HERE BE DRAGONS: A YA Sci Fi Action/Adventure!

Alliance Military Guard sent the order. Sergeant Tucker Thompson acquiesced. Hopping a plane to his long-lost Australian birthplace, he’s been charged with his toughest mission yet. Thompson must rally his company of soldiers to prevent a new generation of weaponry from breaching the world’s borders.

 

Pound the war drums. Rattle the cages. HERE BE DRAGONS.

 

How did you do research to create this fantasy world?

I spent countless hours doing research! From military drills, to hand-to-hand combat techniques, to the weather in Australia in the summer, it’s all part of making the book realistic! For information, I often used YouTube because you can find a video for almost anything. For places, I included YouTube, watching others’ vacation videos and adventures, and then I also used Google Earth, Street View. I walked streets and explore. I opened up our Virtual Reality kit and use the Google Earth app to explore the earth and walk where my characters roam. Then I also consider living itself is research. How does the skin intercept flowers, or coffee, or gravel on the road? What are the essences of life? Those small moments of coffee on the back porch on a rainy day are perfect stock for my arsenal of imagery.

What inspired you to write your book?

My preacher recently introduced the idea that people who do not know God are simply prisoners of war. What better way to free prisoners than by love? What better way to fight darkness than with light? Do we work on earth to accomplish material things or do we share encouragement, love, inspiration, and good works in the name of someone much greater than ourselves? Do we humbly help and teach? We humans aren’t just here on this planet to make money or fill time. We are here for life, and a life full. God put each of us here, doing good work he created long ago for us to do. We don’t do any of it for our glory or success, but to free the prisoners of war. As Tucker states in the crux: Life isn’t just a thing. Life is the thing.

 

I love the concept. I have found inspiration from sermons as well. But you’ve really taken a wonderful concept and given your readers a deep truth to explore in an interesting setting.

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Now, let’s explore a little about you. I always like to ask authors what is a favorite verse that resonates with them?

Three verses continue fueling me even when I consider giving up and giving in:

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7

In the strength of the Lord, I can do all things. Philippians 4:13

For we are God’s handiwork, created to do good works, which he prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:10

Combining all three, one can come back to the ultimate purpose for giving best efforts and working with joy and gratitude. Even the difficult tasks can be taken in stride because God’s prepared them specifically for us to do, for our greater purpose.

Challenges become opportunities. Rain becomes refreshing. Walls become training moments. And we can continue along this twisty road because God journeys along at our sides and within our spirits. We’ve only got to keep on walking.

 

Very inspiring, Kadee. Now, as a fantasy writer I think you will appreciate my next question. If you could go back in time and give one piece of advice for your younger self about writing what would that be?

Give it ten years. Realize that your best ability will be to consider challenges as opportunities for improvement. Grow to love the heavy lifting of weight, and continue working to improve—and give it a solid ten years of work before you give up. Persistence. Consistency. Moxie.

The concept of giving the writing life time resonates with me. I’m sure my readers can relate as well.

 

Kadee, describe yourself and your goals as a writer. And tell us a bit about your books in print.

Fierce yet sparkly, I help seekers find brave new worlds. The goal is magic, the medium is ink, and the fuel is coffee. And sometimes pizza. I teach English on the university level when I’m not dancing around the living room with my family, lifting heavy at the gym, traveling the planet, or binging superhero shows.

 

The INSURRECTION trilogy, HERE BE DRAGONS, and non-fiction inspirational IGNITE roll out perilous motives, twisty plots, and daring protagonists. Grab some real estate and your copy of my latest adventure, and follow along at KadeeCarder.com.

Tell us more about Here Be Dragons and the unusual give-away you have for the release of Here Be Dragons.

 

FUN FACT NUMBER ONE:

Here Be Dragons is a standalone novel, but it does follow my Insurrection trilogy. We see a few characters we met on those luxurious Caribbean beaches. Tucker was the romantic interest from the trilogy. After writing the trilogy, I felt like readers needed to know Tucker more, and he had to complete this assignment. Might as well follow along! No need to have read the trilogy; this book records its own wild adventure!

FUN FACT NUMBER TWO:

PRE-ORDER GIFT WITH PURCHASE! 10 FREE WORKOUTS!

With over ten years of experience specializing in metabolic conditioning, and as the official trainer of the Alliance Military Guard, Fit By Faith© owner Krista Johnson has created ten workouts to get you in gear and ready to crush life. Utilizing a variety of whole-body strengthening techniques, your FREE WORKOUTS will be just what you needed to start your new year off the right way. Each of the ten workouts can be completed at home or in a gym, and takes approximately thirty minutes or less.

Submit your pre-order receipt to KadeeCarder.com/HereBeDragons and receive your own Alliance Military Guard Training Guide containing TWO WEEKS worth of exercises, guaranteed to get you in battle-ready shape to train as a Guardsman.

This gift with purchase will ONLY be available on pre-orders! Offer expires January 1st, 2018 at 11:59 PM Central time.

 

Purchase Here Be Dragons on kindle unlimited for only $4.99:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0787PKJJF/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1513231085&sr=8-1&keywords=kadee+carder+here+be+dragons

 

Here Be Dragons releases January 2, 2018

 

Contact Kadee Carder and discover more giveaways

Visit http://www.kadeecarder.com for inspiration, radio interviews, gift certificates, freebie codes, and more!

Let’s connect on social media!

Website: kadeecarder.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kadeecarderink/

Instagram: kadeecarderink

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCAkYQcShpWHBua-7VVi9Swg

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/kadeecarder/

Twitter: @kadeecarderink

And please feel free to subscribe for encouraging blogs! Kadeecarder.com

I’m giving away a free, empowering e-book to those who subscribe to my email list at kadeecarder.com. Titled IGNITE, the 60-page book offers a serving of inspiration, a dash of hope, and a cup of grace to help you get kickin’ on those challenging tasks you’ve got to do!

Kadee, all these giveaways exemplify your desire to help others grow in grace and be there best self.

Readers, here’s your chance to get some fun gifts for yourself to kick start 2018 in a positive way.