Friday 26 June 2015

Blog Tour Guest Post - Grey by Christi J. Whitney

(The Romany Outcasts Series, Book 1)
Author: Christi J. Whitney
Publisher: HarperCollins/HarperVoyager
Pages: 400
Genre: Young Adult (Urban Fantasy)
Format: Paperback/Kindle

Book Description:
Sebastian Grey always thought he was a fairly normal teenager – good friends, decent grades, and a pretty sweet job in his foster brother’s tattoo shop.

But when strangers arrive in town, Sebastian soon realizes that his world is nothing at all what it seemed. Secretive gypsies surround him, shadowy figures stalk him, and the girl he’s been dreaming about turns up at school.

Now Sebastian must protect this girl at all costs, even if it means he will never be normal again.

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Don’t Get Stranded on an Island – the Value of Critique Groups

Sometimes being an author can feel like getting stranded on a deserted island, just off the mainland. You can see other artists around you. Some are paddling desperately in the water, fighting to stay afloat. Others are building beautiful structures in the middle of civilization, having great success in all they do; while there you are, on your own, attempting to navigate the daunting world of writing—which sort of feels like sitting on the beach, trying to light a fire with wet wood.

For me, one of the most important factors of my writing has been joining a critique group. Nothing else has proven to be quite as productive as finding that little clan of people who are going through the same journey. We call our group Trail Mix—and with good reason. We are as unique and varied a bunch as you could possibly throw together. We span the realm of children’s books, from illustrators to picture book writers to middle grades and young adult. We have a myriad of outside careers and interests. We are many different ages and come from assorted backgrounds. Our love of books brought us together, but it didn’t stop there.

We provide encouragement and a shoulder to cry on, yes. Those things are certainly important. But we also provide critique—deeply thought-out and constructive help in every area. It’s not enough to get together and just commiserate. You’ll feel better, but no one will improve her skills. You have to be willing to be vulnerable as the artist and brutally honest as the reader, and we’ve managed to create a beautiful balance in our group. But most importantly, we have become great friends. Nothing could be better than that.

Trail Mix meets once a month, but our communication extends far beyond that. We regularly communicate through our Facebook page, emails, and even phone calls and texts—whenever we need advice or a second set of eyes, someone in our group is always there to meet the challenge, whether it’s a sweet hug or a swift kick in the pants.

It’s a lonely place, sitting at your computer, lost in the worlds you create in your head. Friends and family, although incredibly supportive, don’t always understand your battle with writer’s block or your struggle to find the missing piece in a chapter that’s literally driving you insane. It’s amazing to have a group of people who truly get me as a writer and constantly help me develop my craft. If I have one piece of advice to offer any aspiring writer, it’s this: find at least one other person you can go on this journey with. Don’t be an island.

About the Author
Christi J. Whitney is a former high school theatre director with a love for the arts. She lives just outside Atlanta with her husband and two sons. When not spending time with them or taking a ridiculous number of trips to Disney World, she can be found directing plays, making costumes for sci-fi/fantasy conventions, obsessing over Doctor Who, watching superhero movies, or pretending she’s just a tad bit British.

Her latest book is the young adult urban fantasy novel, Grey (The Romany Outcasts Series, Book 1).

For More Information
•    Visit Christi J. Whitney’s website.
•    Connect with Christi on Facebook and Twitter.
•    Find out more about Christi at Goodreads.
•    Visit Christi’s blog.
•    Contact Christi.

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