Sunday, August 3, 2014

Blogoversary Day Three: Guest Post With Alison Kemper + Giveaway

Hello everyone! I have decided to do something a little different this year for the blog's second blogoversary! This year, each day I will have a post or two from authors and bloggers that I ADORE! Many of them will have giveaways specific to the post, as well as the overall giveaway! The big giveaway has tons of prizes, from swag to signed copies of books!

Please welcome the zombie-licious, Alison Kemper!

Guest Post:

My writing journey began with the stupidest move ever. I’d been working on a novel for about six months. It was only half-finished, but I decided to send out a query. Just one little query. To see what would happen.

You know what happened? The agent requested the full manuscript.

That sounds like a stroke of luck, right? Wrong. Because here’s where I made an even stupider move. My brief one-page letter sparked some interest, so I thought I might get to take a shortcut. That maybe I wouldn’t have to put in all the time or effort—pay my dues like other writers. I actually hoped I could mail off the novel, the agent would love it, and by the next year, I’d be on the bestseller list. Can we say “clueless”?

I had to send the novel quickly, so I wrote the other half in six days. Yep, half a novel in six days. You can guess what happened next. It took a few months, but the rejection came. I felt like the world’s biggest dummy. But I also woke up a little. Okay, maybe a lot.

Writing is hard. Everyone says that, but so many of us still hope we can somehow skip the hard part. That’s what I tried to do. I jumped the gun, queried before I was ready—even though all the writers’ websites warned me not to—and then tried to write 40,000 words in six days. Of course my novel sucked.

But here’s where I was lucky—probably luckier than I deserved to be. The agent took an extra two minutes to tell me what she thought worked (the premise, the romance between the two main characters) and what didn’t work (the entire plot after page 75).

The rejection came on Memorial Day weekend as I was driving to visit friends in DC. I spent the entire road trip thinking about the choice before me. Should I give up writing? Quit while I was ahead? Or keep forging onward—put in the time, do the work, learn the craft, make this right?

When I got back home, I opened my manuscript file, highlighted the entire block of text after page 75 and hit the delete key.

Then I went on Absolute Write and looked for a beta reader. A real one. Parents and friends are great for encouragement, but they’re not writing experts. My new, more experienced beta tore apart what was left of my novel.

I re-wrote the entire manuscript. Then I did a round of revisions. And another. Then another. I worked with five different beta readers. I proofed my novel so many times I practically had it memorized.

Eleven months passed before I sent out my next query. This time, I researched agents. I took my time. I was careful. I met my wonder-agent Kristin Vincent (who asked for even more revisions) and then sold my novel in a three-book deal with EntangledTeen (even more revisions).

Don’t kid yourself. The road to publication is a tough one. There aren’t any shortcuts. And there aren’t any tricks. If you want to be a writer, be prepared to put in the time and effort. A LOT of time and effort. Put away your ego and learn from those who know what they’re doing. The day I saw my name on a cover was one of the proudest of my life. And I knew the novel wasn’t some slapdash effort, but a product of years of hard work. Be smarter than I was. And remember there are no shortcuts.


When most people hear creepy, disembodied voices, they think they're going crazy. But when fifteen-year-old Donna Pierce hears them, she knows she's in danger. Thanks to their warnings, Donna and her dorky best friend Deke narrowly escape when a zombie virus hits their cruise ship--but they have to leave their parents behind.

Back on land, the worldwide Zompocalypse is in full swing. The teens find refuge in their high school with thirty other survivors--including Liam, the mysterious boy Donna's been crushing on since fifth grade.

The next few days are a nightmare: the food supply dwindles, the water is shut off, and an army of undead waits outside the doors. The battle-torn school seems like the last place to start a romance, but Donna and Liam can't fight their attraction.

If Deke-the-Geek would stop acting like a jealous freak, the end of the world might just be perfect.

You Can Find it At:

Author Bio:

Alison Kemper is the author of Donna of the Dead—a fun, snarky romance set during a zombie apocalypse—now available from EntangledTeen. Look for the companion novel, Dwight of the Living Dead, in 2015.

You Can Find Her At:


Zombie Swag Bag includes $5 Amazon card, Donna of the Dead mints (don’t get caught with zombie breath) and exploding eye gumballs (they squirt red goo when you bite into them, but are surprisingly delicious)!

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1 comment:

  1. my family tradition it's wait until midnight and give a big hug to the birthday person. in my birthday i get the hugs! ^w^