Los Angeles

Hey guys!! This post is probably going to be brief, as I have to leave the house soon for some errands/appointments but I wanted to drop in for a quick update, seeing as I haven’t been on here in…months?! Yikes 😅!

I recently got back from a trip to Los Angeles and I had an absolute BLAST! I stayed at the Langham Huntington, which was STUNNING. Walking through the carpeted hallways had me feeling as though I had traveled back in time. The hotel was built over one hundred years ago, and was enchanting and elegant. The lobby itself had me swooning:

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And, guys, as a flower lover this place was a DREAM. There were flowers everywhere!

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Even the grounds were stunning and memorable, and one of the highlights was the Japanese gardens (there was also a squirrel 🐿 fight high up in the trees, but I wasn’t quite fast enough with my camera to catch the hilarious moment).

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Now that I’m back I am participating in NaNoWriMo, though I’ve set my own goal for this year, seeing as the novel I am aiming to finish by the end of the month is about…85% done. Instead of the typical goal of 50,000 words I am simply aiming to write any missing scenes, fix the remaining plot holes, and polish the manuscript until it is gleaming and ready to show to my agent (now that we’ve finished the novel I was temporarily calling SABLE, I am now able to return to a story that is very close to my heart, and I can only hope my agent will love it as much as I do). As for the new title for SABLE, I am choosing not to share it at this time, but…hopefully soon!

Good luck to anyone else who is doing NaNo this year!! You can do it—and remember, you can set your own goal! It doesn’t need to be 50,000 words—do what works for YOU and your schedule!

Bye for now!

—Kayla

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Alphabet of Thorn, Book News, and Tunes

Hi guys — I’m stopping in for a quick update!

I’ve reached the final stages of editing before my agent and I go on submissions. Phew — it’s been a long run (and I’ve loved every minute of it). Our goal is to hopefully be on submissions sometime in the next few months (though sometimes life gets in the way, and things could delay us a bit longer, but we’re hoping for sooner than later). I couldn’t be happier with this story, and I truly hope you guys will get to read it one day (hopefully sooner than later)! We are currently brainstorming titles and making a few final tweaks before calling it done! I am SO incredibly excited, and I hope to have more news to share in the coming weeks/months.

While I was waiting to hear back from our readers, I had some free time on my hands, and so I got back into reading. The last book I finished was ALPHABET OF THORN by Patricia A. McKillip, and… Oh-em-gee, if you guys haven’t read this book, WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR? It was everything I’ve ever wanted in a fantasy book, and I became as entranced with it as Nepenthe did with the tales of Axis and Kane. In an effort to avoid spoilers, this is all I will say about the stunning and intricate storyline, but if you’re looking for a great fantasy novel to lose yourself in, I 100% recommend ALPHABET OF THORN.

Now, onto music. As I was preparing to dive back into these revisions, I was on the hunt for new tunes that would inspire/motivate me. I thought I would share a couple of the songs that really stuck with me.

  1. Audiomachine – Eternal Flame

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QMKHFZEY2VU

I absolutely LOVE this one. It’s full of emotion, and it just keeps building and building! *swoons*

2. The Wolf and the Moon – BrunuhVille

…I have NO words to describe how much I adore this piece. There’s a character in my novel named Nocturne (hopefully you guys can meet her one day soon). She has a significant connection with wolves, so as soon as I heard this song, I instantly purchased it and have been listening to it non-stop while writing her scenes. Nocturne and the journey she goes through mean so much to me, and I can’t wait until I can talk about her with you all.

Anyway, I’m SUPER busy making these final changes to my manuscript, so that’s all for today! I’m hoping you guys will get to hear more about my story in the not-so-distant future :-). Wishing you all a wonderful week.

Thanks for reading!

–Kayla

A Brief Update — SABLE and What I’m Reading…

Before I begin, I’d like to apologize for being MIA lately. Life has been hectic, and to be honest I haven’t had a lot to update you guys on (I’ve only recently had enough free time to get back into reading books that aren’t my own, and I’ve been hard at work on my YA fantasy novel, still tentatively titled SABLE).

Soooo… onto the little bit of news that I can share.

I finished the major round of big-picture edits on SABLE at the end of January, and I am now waiting to receive reports (I’m equal parts terrified and excited). I’m not exactly sure where this journey will go once I’ve received the reports from my fabulous agent, but I’m guessing I will have a few more tweaks to make before it’s time to submit to editors (EEK!). It has taken me years–YEARS–to reach this point in my journey toward publication, and sometimes it still feels like I’m dreaming. I can only imagine how I’ll feel once my book is out on submissions!

As for what I’ve been reading lately–today I finished DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE by Laini Taylor, and just…wow. I absolutely loved everything about this book. Laini Taylor’s writing voice is enchanting, and I found it impossible not to be swept up into this story for hours. Despite how magical the world is, Laini somehow manages to make everything believable, right down to Brimstone’s dusty shop and the magical portals and the wishes (THE WISHES *sighs longingly*). Karou and Akiva’s story is unforgettable, and the side characters are all so well-rounded that I have a hard time accepting they aren’t real. If I could rate it 100/5 on Goodreads, I would.

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Speaking of Goodreads, if anyone else is on there, send me a friend request! 🙂 Since I FINALLY have time to get back into reading, I’ve been a frequent visitor of this site. There are so many books I’m wanting to read, and I just started one of them today–THE CRUEL PRINCE by Holly Black. I’m only one chapter in, and I’m already hooked 😉

What are you reading right now?

Until next time!

–KMJ

Happy Halloween, Boils and Ghouls!

I am doing NOTHING today except watching Hocus Pocus on repeat, binge eating chocolate, and cozying up on my couch (although I DO have some new edits to work through, so I’ll probably get to those at some point). What’s everyone else doing on this brisk, eerie day? 🙂 When I was younger, I LOVED Hocus Pocus, and watching it brings me back to those carefree days. There’s nothing like tradition!

 

If you have any scary film recommendations, leave a comment below :-). Here are a few of mine:

  • Hocus Pocus (obviously)
  • The Nightmare Before Christmas
  • Halloweentown
  • Sleepy Hollow
  • Edward Scissorhands
  • Monster House
  • Corpse Bride
  • Beetlejuice
  • The Addams Family
  • Warm Bodies

 

Happy Halloween, everyone!!

 

My Interview on Query Tracker and What I’m Listening To (aka Another Post About Music)

Clearly, I’m terrible at titling blog posts, but we won’t talk about that today 🙈!

I have an interview up on Query Tracker now! You can read it here: https://querytracker.net/success/kayla_jones.php

I talk a little bit about the project that I’ve found representation for (tentatively titled SABLE) and what it was like for me when I was querying. Head over there if you’d like to check it out!

Now onto music, which plays such a huge role in both my personal life and my writing. It better connects me to the world I live in and those I write about, and is basically the key to emotions for me. If I’m ever struggling with writing a certain scene, whether sad or happy or anything in between, I will often listen to music until I get into the groove again.

When I was younger, my family would take me on road trips and I spent most of the time in the car listening to CDs. During this time I would think up scenes in my head about people I knew nothing about. Even back then I’d always dreamed of being a storyteller, but I could never put thoughts to paper in a way that was satisfying to me, as I was too young and hadn’t fully grasped writing yet.

Now that I’m older, nothing has really changed in the sense that music still influences my thoughts and inspires scenes that wouldn’t otherwise have come to me if I’d been sitting in silence.

Sometimes I need to write to music that has no lyrics. Here are a few instrumental pieces that I never tire of, and that never fail to inspire me in times when I am struggling to write:

This Land from The Lion King soundtrack:

Forbidden Friendship from How to Train Your Dragon:

And last but certainly not least, What Are You Going to Do When You Are Not Saving the World from the Man of Steel soundtrack (the first minute and seven seconds is stunning and I wish there was a loop of it somewhere):

And as for songs that have lyrics but never fail to inspire me (because I feel like bombarding you guys with another post about music):

The Mummer’s Dance by Loreena McKennitt (one of my favorite songs ever, and has been for years):

Now We Are Free by Hans Zimmer and Lisa Gerrard:

And my absolute favorite song of all time, Streets of Philadelphia by Bruce Springsteen. Despite that I need to listen to music that suits the atmosphere of the book I’m writing, this one seems to sneak in no matter what world/time period I’m writing in:

Now that I’ve finished gushing about music, I would like to welcome the new followers I have! I promise to try and post more 🙈.