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Monday, March 24, 2014

Blog Tour: Spirit Vision by Morgan Straughan Comnick (Guest Post + Giveaway)

Today I have the pleasure of welcoming author Morgan Straughan Comnick to the blog as part of a blog tour for her novel, Spirit Vision. We also have an awesome giveaway for you guys, so after reading Morgan's fabulous guest post and checking out Spirit Vision be sure to scroll down and enter! 

Guest Post:

Being an Author is easy…Right… 

I have been fairly blessed. I have an on-going, overactive imagination and for as long as I remember, I have been forming games and stories in my mind; my tales being my constant companions as I played alone at recess (do not go “awwww” now!). I have been able to let my stories course through my veins, fueling my blood with a fire I could not ignore, the words flowing out of me to my pencil and then to my paper, a stream of refreshing water I capture forever on a page. That normally has been easy for me and again, I am lucky and am so grateful. However, just because this is all true, this does not mean I have had a perfect, easy-breezy-lemon-squeezy experience with writing. There are bumps in any road you take and writing for me is no exception. 

My first major obstacle after Spirit Vision and my love for writing was established was I had to work on something I refused to accept for so long: my terrible grammar and spelling. Argh… I struggled with reading when I was in elementary school and phonics was the worst, which affected my spelling. Since computers were starting to be a daily tool in education in my upper grades, I was an arrogant teenager and thought spell check would save me from anything. HA! How naïve! It was not until I began crafting Spirit Vision in my head that the man who inspired me to write, Mr. Banger, told me flat out: “You’re writing is very good, but your mechanics suck!” When your teacher tells you such a thing, you have to take it to heart. It was like a slap in the face, a pail of ice cold water thrown at me, and my brain snapped like a rubber band. From that moment on, I worked hard on fixing my grammar and spelling, my mechanics and word usage. I even took an elective creative writing class with Mr. Banger to learn more and challenge myself. Now, I am one of the top staff members sought out in my district to help with editing mechanics and grammar (other than the language teachers, of course)! J This would have been a huge block in my writing path and I never would be close to where I am today in my writing career and professional, adult life. 

For some reason, I had one nightmare of an experience in writing Spirit Vision. I have to write my stories in order, which I learned when I was editing with my agent that that is unusual… Okay, let us get this out there: I am strange! J Moving right along…I was writing two major parts of my book and I only needed a simple transition paragraph to connect the two for the two events were far enough away that it needed a recap of minor parts but not a big enough gap where I could use a section break. For some random reason, for the life of me, I could not write a simple transition paragraph! I do not know how many times I attempted to craft this paragraph, how many screams that escaped my throat, how many soft items I threw at my computer as I yanked my hair roots. It took me, I am not kidding, EIGHTEEN MONTHS before I could write the four sentences so I could move on with my story. After that, the story was almost smooth sailing, but I will never forget this frustrating experience. 

Lastly, as any author knows, editing can be a pot hole or trap pit on your path to getting published. Now, I have a wonderful publisher, but that does not mean my book was perfect. HA! Far from it! We have discussions on what we need to fix, but a few things stick in my mind. There were chapters I thought would be fine and then I would have comments out the wazoo! Chapter four, a very important, full of information chapter was the worst. I was sure it was fine…Boy, good thing I did not bet! It was so bad, I doubted myself as a writer. I suppose every author, especially new ones, experience this. However, other chapters such as chapter ten, a deep chapter, I was concerned would have red ink all over it, but it was not nearly as bad as my nightmares conjured up. This is sort of stressful! I even had to change the name of a character for I confused my publisher too much with it! Editing your work is always a challenge, but after my first experience, I am ready to bring more of my best work to the world. 

Being able to share your craft, your imagination, the pictures and characters in your head to the world is such an amazing feeling and I am grateful for the chance every day. However, just because I like to write and have ideas does not mean my path has always been a walk in the park. Sometimes the flowers in the park have thorns or kids’ soccer balls whack you in the head, or you walk in a pile of doggie doo by mistake. But, that never stops me from writing; in fact, it makes me love it more. For if things in life were always that simple, they would not be worth doing and not give you the satisfaction of doing your best. Thank you guys for having me!

Giveaway is open internationally and ends on April 4, 2014

Winning entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen randomly via Rafflecopter and announced on the widget as well as emailed; they will have 48 hours to respond. Failure to respond will result in a new winner being selected. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter, or any other entity unless otherwise specified. Number of eligible entries received determines odds of winning. 

Giveaway was organized by Paper Crane Books and sponsored by both the press and the author. Void where prohibited by law.

Enter via Rafflecopter below:
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About the book:

Title: Spirit Vision
Author:  Morgan Straughan Comnick
Publisher: Paper Crane Books
Pages: 316
Pub. Date: December 17th 2013
Find it: Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes& Noble, iTunes, Kobo, Smashwords
If God gave you a mission, would you answer His call?

The Lord has given Stary, a high school freshman, a mission: extinguish the evil residing in the murderer of two teens—Maren and Umbra. Stary never imagined that her strange visions meant that she was the Spirit Warrior for God and now with her powers activated, she must train to use them and try not to get caught by the murderer who has the ability to hide and conjure up the dark powers from the fallen angel himself—Lucifer. If Stary fails, not only will she lose her life, but Maren and Umbra will lose their entry into heaven and the world will be exposed to the madness of the murderer for the next forty years until the new Spirit Warrior is born.

About the author:

Website / Twitter / Facebook / Goodreads / Youtube / Pinterest
Educator of young minds by day, super nerdy savior of justice and cute things by night, Morgan Straughan Comnick has a love for turning the normal into something special without losing its essence. Morgan draws from real life experiences and her ongoing imagination to spark her writing. In her spare time, she enjoys doing goofy voices, traveling to new worlds by turning pages, humming child-like songs, and forcing people to smile with her "bubbliness." It is Morgan's mission in life to spread the amazement of otaku/Japanese culture to the world and to stop bullying; she knows everyone shines brightly.

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