Thursday, February 5, 2015

Book Spotlight + Giveaway: Bricks by John Davidson

*Lights - Camera - Action!*

Today's blog spotlight centers right on a new book presented to me by Anaiah Press. Bricks, by John Davidson, is billed as a contemporary novel and one that looks pretty tempting to this bookworm. Interested? Let's take a look at the synopsis.

Amazon | B&N
Sixteen-year old Cori Reigns learns that not all tornadoes take you to magical places. Some take your house, your school, and life as you knew it.

Struggling to put the pieces of her life back together, Cori learns to rebuild what the storm destroyed by trusting a family she didn't know she had and by helping friends she never appreciated.
Release Date: February 3, 2015

Short and sweet, just the way I like my book synopsis to be. Nothing is worse than having a book spoiled for you before you even start it. That being said, this sounds like my kind of read. Something deep, and possible a little tear inducing? I'm all over it.

Now please enjoy a heartfelt and wonderfully inspirational guest post from John Davidson. I have to say, this one made me tear up a bit. Also, don't forget to add Bricks to your reading list!

Thank you so much for having me on the blog.

When I first started writing, I thought that the secret ingredient to all good stories was the idea behind it. The concept. The skeleton that formed the framework. All that was left was to decorate it, like a Christmas tree, hanging words in just the write places—spread them out, fill up the blank spaces, and when I ran out of words and the story was done. It was ready. Finished.

I have a couple of “books” like this finished and saved in the archives. I have more than a few rejections that go with them. I didn’t understand how they could be rejected. These were great ideas. It was incredibly depressing. I thought that was what happened—you wrote a book, it got published. That’s what books did.

I put my writing away for a long time—a really long time. Eventually, I came back to it. My love of reading drew me. Eventually, I wanted to do more than just consume the amazing stories I read, I wanted to produce my own. This time I was determined to do it right—study the craft, whatever it took. I already had degrees in English. I was ahead of the grammar game. Now, all I needed was figure out exactly where all those words go. I read books. I attended conferences. I followed blogs—some of those blogs even said, “Ideas are cheap. Execution is what counts.” So armed with a new set of tools, I wrote another book. Full of hope, I sent it out. And… the rejections came again.

This time, depression lasted no longer than a strenuous workout. I was serious. I was going to do this. I wanted to be a traditionally published writer—not that there was anything wrong with indie publishing at all. I just wanted to go the traditional route. I took online courses. I sent work off to be reviewed and paid for editors. I joined a critique group (one of the most effective things I’ve done.) I revised and revised until the original story was all but unrecognizable, and I submitted again.


Cue the weeping and gnashing of teeth. If it wasn’t about the concept, and it wasn’t about the craft, what was it? I took a deep breath, and I did the only thing I knew to do. I read—not how-to’s, just for fun. Stuff I loved to read. I read some more. And even more. And then I wrote another book. And a funny thing happened. The words came out much easier. The story flowed. Before long, it was done. A twitter pitch party came along. So I entered. And got a favorite—the sign the editor wanted to see some of the chapters. I was cautious. I’d been here before. About a week later, she wanted to see the whole thing. A month or so passed. And the email came that she wanted to publish the book. I’ll leave out the euphoria part and jump to the conclusion, albeit one that is far from conclusive. 

Yes. A great story or even a good one needs a fresh concept. Yes. A great/good story needs exceptional craftsmanship. But the math here doesn’t add up. There’s a variable. Me as a writer needed me as a reader—you can’t have one without the other. 

Writing isn’t easy. It takes time, energy, effort (and weeping and gnashing of teeth), but it also requires reading—sometimes for study and analysis of what makes things work. But sometimes simply to remind you why you wanted to write in the first place. The awe-inspiring beauty of a book.

Married to my bride for twenty-four years, I have an amazing son and a wonderful daughter.

Born and raised in central Oklahoma, I work in education, first as a teacher now in technology curriculum. I write. I read. And in the summer I make snow cones.

Twitter: @jdavidsonwrites

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