blogtour featured youngadult Monday, April 24, 2017Cupcake Queen
Hello, Cupcakes! Today I'm pleased to kick off the True North blog tour! It's an incredible series that I highly encourage everyone to check out, and I'm positively excited to share my thoughts on L.E. Sterling's latest installment in the True Born series, TRUE NORTH. In addition, the author herself has written a wonderful guest post for you to enjoy. Be sure to follow along the blog tour for more praise on True North and more excellent guest posts!
by L.E. Sterling
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Release Date: April 4th, 2017
Purchase: [Amazon] [Chapters/Indigo]
More people need to be reading this series - more teens and adults, alike. It's a series I am absolutely shocked does not come up in every bookish conversation. I'm actually completely floored when I mention the first title, True Born, to other readers and they've never heard of it. It's a title I always highly recommend, and now with the release of True North, I'm more certain now than ever before that L.E. Sterling's True Born trilogy is going to be a major game changer in not only young adult literature, but also in the science fiction and dystopian genres.
If you haven't read my review on True Born, you can do so here. To catch you up to speed - I loved it. I continue to believe that I loved it more than I love chocolate sprinkles, which is a lot. And with True North, the second in the trilogy, I continue to stand by that statement. I continue to love Lucy's personality and narrative, and still find her to be an exceptional lead. The emotional turmoil she feels when it comes to trusting others has become more evident in True North, and the urgency of Lucy's predicament becomes so much more sinister. Furthermore, I absolutely loved Jared and learning more about him, in addition to reading a lot more dialogue between both he and Lucy. Also, L.E. Sterling's writing continues to be as beautiful and detailed as it was in True Born, and was a pleasant reminder of how much I loved first diving into the title. Personally, I couldn't find a single sour note or lack lustre moment in True North. It felt like another wholesomely adventurous tale that I look forward to re-reading in the future.
Readers, I highly recommend both True Born and True North to you. The title, although primarily dystopian in setting and sci-fi in plot, will feel like something refreshing all of it's own. It'll hook you immediately - I promise!
5 / 5 Cupcakes
Guest Post by L.E. Sterling
There was a period in my life—not that long time ago actually—where I thought I’d give up on writing. This is a hard thing for me to admit because I’ve literally been writing my entire life. I was writing songs for an imaginary band when I was 7 (our big hit was to be “That’s the way life is”). I wrote novels about aliens and another about a tribe of kids after a nuclear apocalypse when I was 11, and published my first essay in a national kids’ magazine at age 10. You get the picture.
So to give up on writing is, was…unthinkable. And yet, there I was, a somewhat successful adult writer with two novels already published by a reputable small press. And I still felt lower than low.
When you write, you really put yourself out there. You expose yourself. It’s kind of like acting, only the page is a mask you can slip over your true self. This is also why anyone would want to write: because it’s liberating, exhilarating—like mental flying.
It also means you often fail.
I’d failed a lot. More times than I’d succeeded. Don’t let anyone tell you that writing and publishing is easy. It takes a lot of guts, and it takes discipline, and it takes the ability to withstand failure and criticism. All of that is hard enough. But when you keep trying and still fail? That’s—well—it sucks.
So I came to a week where I spent every day looking at a blank page and feeling hollow. You see, I’d been trying to sell the True Born Trilogy and it just wasn’t happening. I’d tried telling myself that tons of successful writers who had been rejected repeatedly. I’ve faced failure before.
But I had a literary agent—widely regarded to be necessary for landing a publishing deal with a larger press. I’d had huge success putting up a novella-length version of True Born on Wattpad. And as I mentioned, I’d already published two other novels. So what if True Born didn’t sell to a press? I could turn to self-publishing, or keep on with my small press. But I knew that wouldn’t work for me. There are things that only a reputable press can do for you, things I knew I needed.
After a few very dark days I came to the decision to carry on with writing even if I never published another novel again. I’d do it for myself, because that’s ultimately who I write for. I left that week tired and shaken, but resolved. I wouldn’t let fear or failure or frustration stand in my way.
Not two weeks later, True Born had a book deal. And not just a single book deal—a three book deal. This April I published the second book in that trilogy, True North. I think it’s the best book I’ve ever written. I think the last in the trilogy will be even better.
If I were to ever offer advice to a serious-but-just-starting-out writer it would be this: there will be a moment (or maybe many) where you’re going to be tempted to stop, when you’re going to feel like a failure.
But the bare truth of writing is that the only judge who matters is you. If you’re always writing for yourself, pushing yourself, you can never, ever fail.