#WritingCommunity Spotlight: Meredith Vanos

This was an interview conducted by Undiscovered Publishing blogger Thomas Neil with aspiring author Meredith Vanos.

Thomas: Tell me about yourself? And what made you want to be a writer?

Vanos: My name is Meredith Vanos. I’m a stay at home mom to four girls. I’ve wanted to be a writer since I was a young child. I started taking it more seriously about 4-5 years ago. It would be amazing to show my kids how important it is to follow your dreams.

Thomas: What attracted you to the particular genre you are involved in? And do you stick with it consistently or do you change it up?

Vanos: I write mostly YA contemporary books because I enjoy reading those books, and also because I truly believe that time period of life is fundamental in developing who a person becomes. I also dabble in NA contemporary romance novels.

Thomas: What is your writing process like? And how important is research to you when writing a book?

Vanos: I don’t have a set writing process. I try to make as much time as possible to fit it in to my life. I’m definitely a pantser; I get an idea and I roll with it. Honestly, I try to write realistic books that deal with things I am familiar with, however, if I’m unsure about something, I definitely research it.

Thomas: Have you ever experienced “Writer’s Block”? And do you have any tips you would like to share to overcome it?

Vanos: I have experienced many instances of ‘Writer’s Block’. My best advice for dealing with it is to ride it out. Forcing yourself to write when you’re really not feeling it can do more harm than good. I’d prefer to keep my relationship with writing a positive one as opposed to something that feels like a burden.

Thomas: So tell me about what you’ve written, and has it been published?

Vanos: I’ve completed a YA trilogy that follows the main character, Allie Baker, through learning to find and love herself outside of her relationships with other people. I’ve also completed a NA contemporary romance about a girl who falls in love with a (unknown to her) famous boy band member. I haven’t been published yet.

Thomas: Are you working on something new at the moment? And can you tell us anything about your current projects?

Vanos: Currently, I’m prepping my next YA novel for Camp NaNoWriMo. It deals with grief, heartbreak, depression, and anxiety.

Thomas: How active are you on social media? And if you have social media as an author/for your books then please share links?

Vanos: I’m pretty active on twitter (@mere_789).

Thomas: Tell me about some writers you really like and/or admire?

Vanos: My favourite author is Sarah Dessen. Her books made me realize what I wanted to write and how I wanted to write. I also enjoy Morgan Matson, Jenny Han, Colleen Hoover, and Sheila O’Flanagan.

Thomas: What advice would you like to give writers who are struggling with their first novels?

Vanos: When you’re writing your first novel, it can feel like a daunting task. Getting it out is the most important thing. Everything can be touched up and fixed with editing. Don’t give up and always follow your dreams.

Thomas: And let’s end with something a little different…Which of your character(s) would you take with you to spend the night in a haunted house? Why?

Vanos:  If I had to spend a night in a haunted house, I would take someone strong because I’m a wuss, so I’d probably take Sam’s security guard from my NA romance, Something About You.

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Launch Pad: Volume II selections to be announced late April

So I’m sure you’ve all been excitedly waiting on more information about Launch Pad: Volume II and we can now proudly reveal that the selections have made for inclusion.

Undiscovered Publishing has picked around 20 of the best stories that were submitted, each of which was carefully examined by the publication team.

Founder and Owner of Undiscovered Publishing, Jordan Smith, had this to say about the process.

“Launch Pad: Volume I was a great opportunity for writers to get their work out into the published world,” Smith said. “The response from the submissions were outstanding and something that was beneficial for our preparation for Volume II.”

Smith continued with talking about the talent that was shown in this selection process.

“Volume II is a little bit of a longer read for each piece as opposed to Volume I, which was all poetry,” Smith said. “The stories that have been selected are worth the extra read. It is a great pool of stories and talent and I can not wait to share the winners with everyone. Such great talent in the writing community currently.”

As mentioned above, Undiscovered Publishing will be unveiling the picks in the Launch Pad: Volume II Selection Show, which will go live on our YouTube Channel at 10 am EST on April 28th. This date will mark one month exactly before publication of Volume II on May 28th, our one-year birthday of the publishing house.

Also in this selection show will be the book cover reveal of Launch Pad: Volume II and some extra news within the company. Make sure and check out the selection show on April 28th and celebrate the new talent being published with us!

#WritingCommunity Spotlight: Serah Johnson

This was an interview conducted by Undiscovered Publishing blogger Thomas Neil with Author of the unpublished novel Isaiah, Serah Johnson.

Neil: Tell me about yourself? And what made you want to be a writer?

Johnson: According to my sixth grade Language Arts teacher, I “have a way with words”. She was convinced that I was destined to be an author. I started writing a book several years ago and threw it in the garbage after completing only a few chapters. However, the need to write stayed with me. I put that energy towards poems and songs. But, after a friend asked me to join a writer’s group, I realized that I needed to write a book. With encouragement from all of the wonderful authors in that group, I began writing my book “Isaiah”.

Neil: What attracted you to the particular genre you are involved in? And do you stick with it consistently or do you change it up?

Johnson: “Isaiah” is YA romance. I believe I chose that genre for my first book because that is what I read the most as a teen. I enjoy reading YA and love the possibilities it leaves open. I plan to make my main characters, Kalice and Isaiah, age as the series progresses. I am open to writing other genres as well. And I am working on a much different genre at the moment.

Neil: What is your writing process like? And how important is research to you when writing a book?

Johnson: I sit down for at least one hour before bedtime and write in my current work in progress. I believe research can be very important, as you want to have certain facts in your work. However, I also believe an author should let their imagination run wild and make their world unique.

Neil: Have you ever experienced “Writer’s Block”? And do you have any tips you would like to share to overcome it?

Johnson: While writing “Isaiah” I suffered from writer’s block for two weeks. I was desperate to start writing again, but the words would not come. Finally, I made myself sit down and read the chapters I already had written. I did my best to let the story play out in my head and really get into the minds of the characters. That was my cure for writer’s block. It may not work for everyone, but it was magic for me.

Neil: So tell me about what you’ve written, and has it been published?

Johnson: I have completed one novel and it is currently being edited. I plan to begin querying this summer.

Neil: If you’ve had your writing published, how has it been received?

Johnson: Unfortunately, it hasn’t been published yet. But several people have read my work and have thoroughly enjoyed my book.

Neil: Is there anything you’d change or do differently now that it is published?

Johnson: I’ll have to get back to you on that one. I’m sure I will learn a lot of lessons when I am going through the process.

Neil: Speaking of publishing, how did you go about getting you book(s) published, and what was your publishing journey like?

Johnson: I haven’t taken that journey yet. But, I plan to do as any other author and query as much as possible until someone takes an interest in my book.

Neil: Where can potential fans find your book(s)?

Johnson: My books are currently only in the hands of myself and my partner as we are editing daily. However, when my books become available I will happily share the link for everyone.

Neil: Did you do your own artwork for the book cover etc, and if not how did you go about getting it done?

Johnson: I have completed a temporary piece of artwork for my book. However, I am sure it will change when it is published.

Neil: Have you taken on board anything from a review (good or bad) that you’ve later incorporated into your writing?

Johnson: The only reviews I have had so far are from beta readers. Many of them have given me great tips and I have tried to incorporate them into my work without losing my unique writing style. I hope they are all pleased when they read the final draft.

Neil: Are you working on something new at the moment? And can you tell us anything about your current projects?

Johnson: Yes! I am currently collaborating with Michael Brightside (@mibrightside on Twitter). Michael has amazing ideas that constantly shock me. I don’t want to give away too much at the moment, but I believe readers will be blown away by the story we are building.

Neil: How active are you on social media? And if you have social media as an author/for your books then please share links?

Johnson: Twitter is my only social media presence at the moment. I am very active on there. You can find me on Twitter at @serahjauthor.

Neil: Tell me about some writers you really like and/or admire?

Johnson: The big names such as Nicholas Sparks, JK Rowling, and John Grisham are a few of my favorites. However, I have found many hidden jewels including AR Pearson, Peter James Martin, Michael Gallagher, Matthew Whiteside, my partner Michael Brightside, and many others.

Neil: What advice would you like to give writers who are struggling with their first novels?

Johnson: Keep going! Do not allow yourself to stop. You are going to make errors and chances are you will leave massive plot holes, but all of that can be fixed. Get the story out before you worry about anything else.

Neil: And let’s end with something a little different…Which of your character(s) would you take with you to spend the night in a haunted house? Why?

Johnson: Isaiah, definitely! He is a tough character that does not scare easily. I know he would protect me.

#WritingCommunity Spotlight: Natasha Dee

This was an interview conducted by Undiscovered Publishing blogger Thomas Neil with Author of The Exsanguinated Series, Natasha Dee.

Neil: Tell me about yourself? And what made you want to be a writer?

Dee: I suppose my love for writing started early. I had a speech impediment growing up so it was difficult at times to convey what was going on in my overly active mind. As soon as I began reading and writing I found a love for poetry, something I wasn’t even fully aware of when I first started. I will admit, however, that I used writing as a shield and an escape from the reality of abuse I suffered as a child. It was therapeutic and I could convey the pain inside that I could not actively speak for fear of what would happen to my family. It wasn’t until I was about a freshman in high school that I started writing novels, my current series in particular. I fell in love with these characters pretty quickly. It all sort of exploded in 2016 after becoming extremely close with my two best friends, River and Dragon. They sort of pushed me to finish my first novel, Somataesthesis. From that point on, my series just grew and grew into this massive saga with tons of twists and turns. Thanks to them, I knew it was something I had to actively pursue.

Neil: What attracted you to the particular genre you are involved in? And do you stick with it consistently or do you change it up?

Dee: I write in paranormal romance/suspense. I’ve always loved a little bit of twisted reality, especially vampires. I wish I still had a drawing that I found a few years ago to share with you. I was very young and I drew a sort of creepy drawing for a kid, which I named vamirs weeknd. (Yes correct spelling as my spelling was bad then and now too) I have plenty of writings, however, that are completely out of the paranormal realm. The only thing I do not really switch up is my darker writing style. I like writing about the outcast, the cutters, and the abused. It helps me deal with the reality of what happened to me as a child. I feel I could really be an advocate and a voice for those in need.

Neil: What is your writing process like? And how important is research to you when writing a book?

Dee: My writing process is a bit of a mess. I have tons of thoughts running around my mind, like most writers. I have tried outlines and planning but it doesn’t really work for me. I plan everything out mentally and then I literally word vomit onto a page. That being said, it is vital to research for my books. I take reality and twist it just a bit so I am very, very picky about getting realistic details and history right. There is too much planning that goes into a book to not do research, for me at least.

Neil: Have you ever experienced “Writer’s Block”? And do you have any tips you would like to share to overcome it?

Dee: Writers block is an evil mistress. She was absent for a few years but she came to me last year while I was editing book two. Granted, book two mirrors some real life experiences for me so it was difficult to get through that. I really only wrote one book last year, as opposed to my usual six. I suggest giving yourself a healthy dose of breaks here and there to avoid burnouts. My typical way of beating writer’s block, which is not all that healthy, is to simply write. I will sit down and force myself to write a sentence or two every single day no matter how bad they are. I tell my mind that it’s important and eventually it listens. I have also found that reading other author’s works have helped me through periods of writer’s block. But I feel writer’s block is handled differently for everyone. A break is vital, but too much can really take you away from your creative thoughts. It should be handled with care and will be different for every person.

Neil: So tell me about what you’ve written, and has it been published?

Dee: I have written way too many things to be honest. I currently have two novels up on Amazon, the first two books in my series. I also have about twelve other rough drafts for other novels in my series making about fourteen completed novels.

Neil: If you’ve had your writing published, how has it been received?

Dee: I suppose by received you mean how do readers like it? So far, readers have loved it. I have several who’ve read them in a day and a half. I’ve been told multiple times that the story just sweeps them away, which is about the best compliment I could ever receive. They like me speaking out about the outcast and abused. I will say, however, I do have some a little angry with me because of my notorious cliffhangers. But for the most part, everyone seems to really absorb my novels and thirst for more.

Neil: Is there anything you’d change or do differently now that it is published?

Dee: Right now I would change the back cover of my first novel. It has my picture on it and it is just ghastly to see it. Not that I’m knocking my photo, I just followed a format for a previous self publishing site and I just do not think it really works for me now. There are a few formatting issues I would like to change and I’m sure plenty of grammar issues as it is all self done. But as a novel in whole, I would rather have it out there with all of these mistakes than not at all. There may be that one person who relates to it and it helps them and that is all that matters to me.

Neil: Speaking of publishing, how did you go about getting you book(s) published, and what was your publishing journey like?

Dee: I went about publishing through several avenues. It was originally River and Dragon’s idea to branch out and attempt publishing in any format, which I’m eternally grateful for. I did the querying for a while and was advised by an ex-agent that with my vast growing series and how quickly I put them out, I should try self-publishing. I went through a few websites that gave me some fits but finally found my place on Amazon. It was an absolute headache for about a year and I wanted to quit so many times. But I stuck with it, thanks to my supportive people, and I’m thankful that I did. Like most writers, I have a message I want to share and I can’t do that if I don’t try.

Neil: Where can potential fans find your book(s)?

Dee: Readers can find my novel on Amazon, which is the best option. However, they are also in mass distribution so many can find them on Barnes & Noble’s website and a few other avenues. I am also creepy like a darkened alley watch seller because I keep a stash hidden in my trunk for locals, ha ha!

Neil: Did you do your own artwork for the book cover etc, and if not how did you go about getting it done?

Dee: My artwork started out one night in my bedroom. I thought it would be fun to throw red paint onto white paper and use that, that way I didn’t have to pay for a cover to be done and I would own it. I mean, I do write about vampires and blood after all, so what could go wrong? The answer is everything, everything could go wrong. It was absolutely horrid and I cannot believe River and Dragon let me do it. But luckily, when I switched websites I discovered royalty free stock photos websites. I downloaded several photos and with the help of River, my true savior, we were able to turn the covers around.

Neil: In a tweet length pitch, sell me on your latest work, or the series as a whole?

Dee: Another day another bruise. Fate is cruelest when the hits come from your own mother. Can the Vampire world Eclipse has stumbled into ironically save her from a doomed fate and bring her love? Or will it only bring her one step closer to death? – Book 2 Withering Sapphire: Evade (I).

UP: What was the original inspiration for the book series?

Dee: Original inspiration, don’t laugh, was me playing with dolls until I was sixteen. I had Withering sapphire as an episode to deal with my life as a child abused by her alcoholic mother. It was something I wanted to get out there and I wanted that fairy tale of someone saving me, someone even like a family of vampires.

Neil: Have you taken on board anything from a review (good or bad) that you’ve later incorporated into your writing?

Dee: Reviews are crucial for me. Luckily, I have three incredible friends who listen to me rant constantly and share snippets, along with some very honest readers. They give me helpful advice that I then use to edit my works. My best friend, River, is my plotter. We run ideas back and forth constantly and she tells me honestly if my thoughts are bad or if they are good. Dragon sucks my novels up like nothing I’ve ever seen. She reads all my things, gives me her honest reactions, and tells me what needs to be changed. Cri-kee gives me honest plotting advice whenever she gets the chance and makes sure I have a strong backbone. I’ve also had reviews from readers that helped me edit my final drafts or give me something to change for future novels. Not all reviews should change an author’s mind but they should seriously take them into consideration to make sure novels are hitting readers the way they need to.

Neil: Are you working on something new at the moment? And can you tell us anything about your current projects?

Dee: Look at you trying to get me to spill my secrets. I am currently working on book three of the series. To my loyal readers, it is not Spencer’s continuation just yet. I have a few more characters I need to introduce before I can begin weaving sequels to my subseries. I can tell you that book three is absolutely crucial to this series and that it has been one of my favorites from the start. It involves a girl who is both a rambler and a cutter. She gets dragged into my world by a dark Vampire, who isn’t all that he seems. Seeing as how it is currently in rewriting mode that is about all I should share.

Neil: How active are you on social media? And if you have social media as an author/for your books then please share links?

Dee: Social media is vital for self-published authors like me. I am very active on Twitter now that I understand it. I try posting every so often on my Facebook and Instagram as well. Facebook was my go-to avenue for the longest time but I’m slowly branching out. Below are my Website, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter links:● https://exsanguinatedseries.wordpress.com/https://www.facebook.com/exsanguinatedseries/https://twitter.com/exsanguinated17https://www.instagram.com/exsanguinatedseries

Neil: Tell me about some writers you really like and/or admire?

Dee: That is a difficult question. There are so many wonderful writers out there. Some of my favorites are Abigail Gibbs, Anne Rice, Edgar Allen Poe, Stephen King, Dean Koontz, and Francine Rivers, just to name a few off the top of my head. I admire Francine for writing in the Christian field the way she does. She always has such a powerful message. I admire that Dean and Stephen write such dark horror novels and really don’t care much about what others think of them. Edgar is my main man, his dark yet poetic writings always take me away from reality. He spins such a web so quickly and takes you away, something that some full length novels cannot even manage. Anne and Abigail are my Vampire women. I admire their takes on the Vampire world.

Neil: What advice would you like to give writers who are struggling with their first novels?

Dee: My advice to writers who haven’t finished that first one is to not be a perfectionist. I was working on my novels for close to ten years before I ever finished my first one. I would nitpick one specific section for days and get bored then have to move on. Perfection takes time. Write it all out and edit it later. Just get it out and off of your chest. And don’t let anyone tell you that you are writing too slow or too fast. Everyone works at their own pace and that is a beautiful fact. Your story needs to be read, even if just by one individual. So keep pushing past every obstacle you face and never give up.

Neil: And let’s end with something a little different…Which of your character(s) would you take with you to spend the night in a haunted house? Why?

Dee: I would definitely say Onyx, the main character from my third book. He is tall, scary, and nothing is getting past him. He would snark the ghost to death and I would feel absolutely safe and entertained the entire night.

Cracked novel available for pre-order

“After the traumatic event that shatters his life, Dan Williams is whisked away by his grandfather, away from his home and everything he knew. Dan lives a good life when not haunted by his memories.”

Undiscovered Publishing, formerly JSmith Publishing (and if you want to learn more about the name change then click here) has recently published Cracked, a novel by Jacob Faust.

As one of the first authors brought on board and the third book published by this new publishing company, we are firmly cementing both the ideals of quality that we strive for with every book we publish but also our support for new authors.

Cracked itself is a psychological novel and is the first published novel by the author, you can pre-order the book right now on Amazon (UK and US) or from Barnes and Noble.

“I think it’s probably going to feel like Christmas for a five-year-old. It’s gonna be just kinda surreal, this thing I’ve been looking forward to for so long is finally here”– Jacob Faust (regarding his first book being published)

We here at Undiscovered Publishing are massively excited for this release and as mentioned above you can pre-order this release, which will be available on March 28th on both Amazon and Barnes and Noble. If you need additional convincing then check out this trailer for the book.

So please support the author by ordering his debut novel, you can also show support by following him on Facebook and Twitter. If you want to find out more about Jacob Faust and his book ‘Cracked’ you can also check out this interview.

Undiscovered Publishing: New Name same Goals

So you may have noticed a big change recently, namely the fact that we’ve transitioned from JSmith Publishing to Undiscovered Publishing. The name change we feel better suits the goals for the company.

Founder and Owner of Undiscovered Publishing, Jordan Smith, had this to say about the name change and the overall re-branding of the publishing house.

“This name change further displays our mission for giving writers and previously published authors a chance to expand their platform, thus being able to have more success later on in their career when they move on from us. Undiscovered Publishing is here to help those “undiscovered” writers and authors become discovered on a world-wide platform.”

The publishing house was founded & on May 28, 2018 under the name JSmith Publishing. Since then, we’ve already managed to attract authors to us and have published two titles Launch Pad: Volume I & Jean Stone Crime Series Volume I: Stranger Among Us. With this new name change, we plan to focus even more on our overall goals as a publishing company.

Smith had this to say on the goals and aspirations of the publishing house moving forward.

“Undiscovered Publishing is determined and driven by helping those unpublished writers learn about the publishing process, as well as helping with growing their readerbase for later on in their author career for if they self-publish or go for a big time traditional publisher.”

Their are also a further two books in the pipeline to be published following this transition, namely Cracked & Launch Pad: Volume II which you should keep an eye out. But equally important is to keep watching as Undiscovered Publishing grows and develops, fuelled by the hard working people associated with it and the talented and creative authors whom we publish.

If you want to check out the site and find out more then follow this link and make sure and check us out on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

eBook formatter internship now open for applications!

We are looking for an eBook formatter to join our team here at JSmith Publishing!

The primary dutie(s) of the internship would be to:

-Format manuscripts to concur with Kindle, Nook and Lulu eBook formats

If you are interested in this opportunity, head to the “Contact Us” page of our website and you will be able to contact us with your interest in this position!