Emily and the Spellstone by Michael Rubens Blog Tour: Guest Post + Giveaway
Welcome to Day #9 of the Emily and the Spellstone Blog Tour!
To celebrate the release of Emily and the Spellstone by Michael Rubens (6/13/17), blogs across the web are featuring exclusive content from Michael and 10 chances to win a copy of Emily and the Spellstone, as well as a Grand Prize Giveaway! Today I'm thrilled to have Michael stop by Book Swoon. Before I share his guest post, and the epic giveaway, here's a little bit about his newest release:
About Emily and the Spellstone
Emily and the Spellstone by Michael Rubens
On Sale Date: June 13, 2017
Juvenile Fiction \ Fantasy & Magic
Ages 10 to 12,
Clarion Books, 288 pages
Purchase from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Indiebound
Add to Goodreads
This summer, comedy writer and YA author Michael Rubens makes his middle-grade debut with Emily and the Spellstone, a hilarious and accessible fantasy about growing up and coming into your own.
Emily is fed up with her frustrating family and the clique-filled hallways of the elementary school. All she wants for her twelfth birthday is a cell phone, but of course, her tech-obsessed older sister had to go and get carpal tunnel, so now Emily isn’t allowed to have one. Worst birthday ever. As she stomps off down the beach to get away from it all, she stumbles across a strange stone that seems to speak to her, and looks oddly like the cell phone she desperately wants. What Emily doesn’t know is that this weird rock is actually an ancient Spellstone, and only she can unlock its powers. What could go wrong?
Rubens’ whimsical wordplay and delightful prose bring this unpredictable adventure to life. Monsters and magic will inspire readers’ imaginations, while Emily’s more terrestrial troubles like mean girls and annoying little brothers will resonate with anyone who has ever been new or felt out of place in their own family. According to Booklist, “the quick pacing, playful narration, and high stakes are plenty to keep reluctant readers and young fantasy fans engaged." With a diverse cast of supporting characters and a spunky heroine, this wacky romp is a perfect summer read.
Author Guest Post - Five Writing Tips
I’ve noticed that when people ask me about how to write a book, they tend to focus less on craft-related questions (like how to create characters or develop the plot) and more on work/process questions – as in, how in the world does someone come up with an idea, and then take that idea and turn it into a book? So here are five tips for that – they’re not terribly original, but they’re guidelines that have helped me.
1. When you get an idea, write it down. Immediately. Now, not later. Like, it’s worth getting up and out of bed and finding that notebook and pen, and then another pen when the first one turns out to be out of ink, which it will. If you don’t, you’ll forget it. I’m always amazed at my ability to forget ideas that I’m sure I’m going to remember – even though I’m perfectly able to recall every detail about the moment when the idea came to me (“What was that $^#* idea again? I was on the subway, and I was sitting across from that guy with the green hair, and we were pulling into Prince street...”) Note down ideas as they come, and go back and revisit them once in a while – you never know when other pieces might have fallen into place, and that strange and useless idea suddenly seems viable.
2. When I have an idea for a story and I’m trying to develop it, I will sit and write pages of stream-of-consciousness notes about the story, the characters, ideas for scenes, snippets of dialogue, anything that comes into my mind, often posing myself questions (“Ok, if it’s so dangerous for her to have this object, why not get rid of it?” “She needs an enemy of some sort – who/what would they be?”) I don’t edit myself, I don’t care if I repeat myself, I don’t care if I contradict myself – I just keep writing. I once sat on a train and wrote nonstop for several hours, barely looking at my screen the whole time. I’m sure I looked insane, typing away as I gazed off into the middle distance and muttered to myself, and the resulting pages did seem a bit like the deranged internal monologue of a madman, but it helped me write my second book.
3. When I’m actually writing a book, my goal is to write one page a day. Sometimes I write more, and sometimes less, but over the course of a week I hold myself to that goal. Something about that low bar gets me in the chair and writing – and I often over-deliver on my own low expectations, which makes me feel like a superhero.
4. When you can build, build. When you can’t build, repair. When you’re having trouble making forward progress, go back and fix stuff. That way you’re always doing something to (hopefully) improve your book.
5. Often it’s good – necessary, even – to have dessert first. By which I mean, go ahead and write the fun scenes, the ones that really capture your imagination and get you excited, even if that means jumping way ahead in the narrative. Those scenes become like signal fires guiding you forward through the story, and then you can circle back and create the pathways that connect them.
5a (bonus tip). Now that I’ve said it’s okay and even necessary to skip ahead and write certain scenes, be ready to let those scenes go. Sometimes that great chapter you’ve written, the one that was so enjoyable to create and that you’re certain the narrative will build to, well, sometimes it just doesn’t work anymore, because the story has gone in another direction. If you write a book, I can pretty much guarantee you that there will be at least one scene that you love that just has to go. Let it. The story is more important.
About the Author
Michael Rubens is the author of two YA novels, Sons of the 613 and The Bad Decisions Playlist, and one novel for grownups, The Sheriff of Yrnameer. A correspondent and producer for Full Frontal with Samantha Bee, he has also been a producer for Last Week Tonight with John Oliver and The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. His writing has appeared in places like The New Yorker’s Daily Shouts, Salon and McSweeney's. He lives with his family in Brooklyn. Visit his website at www.michaelrubens.com
Follow Michael: Website | Twitter
GRAND PRIZE GIVEAWAY
- One (1) winner will receive signed copies of Spellstone and Michael’s 2 YA novels, Sons of the 613 and The Bad Decisions Playlist, as well as a custom Spellstone phone case!
- Enter via the rafflecopter below
- US Only
- Ends 7/2 at midnight ET
Stop by Crossroad Reviews tomorrow for the last day of the tour!
Blog Tour Schedule:
June 19th — Bookhounds
June 20th — Mundie Kids
June 21st — WordSpelunking
June 22nd — Foodie Bibliophile in Wanderlust
June 23rd — Positively Book Crazy
June 26th — GeoLibrarian
June 27th — YA Books Central
June 28th — A Dream Within a Dream
June 29th — Book Swoon
June 30th — Crossroad Reviews