Monday, 16 October 2017

NaNo 2017, Here I Come!

First, let me start off with an apology. I'm so sorry I haven't been posting as regularly as I did at the beginning of the year and have been doing for the past few years. I'm so busy at the moment (which is amazing!) which means I don't have many books to review or anything much to report other than I'm keeping busy.

However, November is coming, and you can expect my weekly reports on how it's going.

And yes, I couldn't be more excited!

Business as normal then.

For those of you who don't know, National Novel Writing Month - or NaNoWriMo - is a challenge hundreds of thousands of writers set themselves every November. Namely, writing 50,000 between the 1st and the 30th of November. That's 1,667 words a day! And it is insane! (Find out more here)

I like a challenge, and NaNo is the perfect stretch of my ability.

This year will be my 7th NaNo, and I'm not about to break my winner's streak (6 years!)

This year is going to be extra exciting because I'm going to write the sequel to ZA, currently untitled because I really have left myself nowhere to go with a title!

I advise all you writers out there to give it a go. It may sound mental - and it is - but it's so much fun, and you meet so many amazing writers just like yourself. My username on is MollyLooby, and if you want to join this crazy race, feel free to add me as a buddy. I love to watch other WriMo's progress.

So, do you dare...?

Author / Editor in Chief at Molten Publishing / Freelance Editor / Writing Coach / Reviewer / Blogger / Wrimo / Movellian / ZA Ready

Friday, 1 September 2017

Stay #ZAReady

You've waited. You've wondered. You've pestered me.

And now it's happening.

I can now reveal that a sequel to ZA is in the works!

Thank you to each and every one of my survivors. You guys are amazing, and I wanted you to be the first to 'officially' know about the (currently without a title) sequel!

I couldn't be more thrilled with the response ZA has received, and it's getting me even more excited for the next instalment. There'll be familiar faces you know and love as well as some new survivors I hope you fall in love with too. And I can't wait for you to meet them!

Thank you for supporting ZA and allowing me to do what I love.

Stay #ZAReady


Author / Editor in Chief at Molten Publishing / Freelance Editor / Writing Coach / Reviewer / Blogger / Wrimo / Movellian / ZA Ready

Monday, 31 July 2017

Write! Writing Software

I'm one of those writers who writes on Microsoft Word out of pure laziness. I've seen lots of different pieces of writing software online but haven't been brave enough to break out of my miserable Word bubble. After all, I can't remember not knowing how to work Word. The idea of learning new software is always going to be daunting.

I was kicked out of my lazy cycle when I was lucky enough to receive an email from the lovely people at Write! which propelled me to check out their software. And I'm here to spread the joy.

Let me tell you, there are better choices out there than Word! I think most writers will agree with me.

The first thing I loved about Write! was that I could write on my Microsoft laptop or my Mac, and the document would be sitting ready and waiting on both of my devices. This means I won't have to remember which one I last used. I know this isn't a problem for a lot of people, but it's an issue I've had for over a year now. When you have a tiny laptop for travel and a bigger one for your desktop, you have to remember where everything lives. Write! has taken care of that for me. I can be writing on the go, come home, sit at my desk, and carry on without having to send things to myself or get the memory stick out. This was a huge plus for me.

Write! also does everything I could want it to do. All the usual text options are there, meaning it's easy enough to separate my work into chapters. It's also much easier to find chapters, unlike in Word. I won't waste any more time scrolling through my documents unnecessarily.

Another great feature is being able to export the document into PDF straight from Write! without having to go to a PDF converter like I usually do. Already, Write! is saving me time, which in turn gives me more time to write. You can also convert into Word if once you've finished with the document you're more comfortable looking at it in a Word format. This means you can do the transition into Write! in stages. You can also convert to plain text, which is useful when you come to typesetting.

What I've seen of Write!, I absolutely love. I can't wait to truly test it out during NaNoWriMo. After all, NaNo is the ultimate test. But so far, I'm a total convert!

First blogged on my website:

Molly Looby
Author / Editor in Chief at Molten Publishing / Freelance Editor / Writing Coach / Reviewer / Blogger / Wrimo / Movellian / ZA Ready

Friday, 14 July 2017

Top 25 YA Books/Series for I Read YA Week!


It's that time again! Happy I read YA week! The blog I wrote for I read YA week last year is fitting this year as the theme is #YAStandsFor, and my blog was all about Why #IReadYA. The year before that, I listed ten YA books that people should be reading.

Now I'm going one step further. I'm going to list my top twenty-five YA stand-alone books and series. Every book/series on this list should be added to your TBR list immediately! They are phenomenal!

(In case you were wondering, they're alphabetical by author.)

  1. The Reapers are the Angels - Alden Bell
  2. Anna Dressed in Blood duology - Kendare Blake
  3. The Perks of Being a Wallflower - Stephen Chbosky
  4. The Hunger Games trilogy - Suzanne Collins
  5. Before I Die - Jenny Downham
  6. Just One Day - Gayle Forman
  7. Gone series - Michael Grant
  8. Paper Towns - John Green
  9. The Fault in Our Stars - John Green
  10. Unearthly trilogy - Cynthia Hand
  11. Lorien Legacies series - Pittacus Lore
  12. Warm Bodies series (including the prequel) - Isaac Marion
  13. Chaos Walking trilogy - Patrick Ness
  14. Before I Fall - Lauren Oliver
  15. Divergent trilogy - Veronica Roth
  16. Harry Potter series - J.K. Rowling
  17. Daughter of Deep Silence - Carrie Ryan
  18. The Forest of Hands and Teeth trilogy - Carrie Ryan
  19. The Wolves of Mercy Falls series - Maggie Stiefvater
  20. I am Not a Serial Killer series - Dan Wells
  21. Rephaim series - Paula Weston
  22. The Art of Being Normal - Lisa Williamson
  23. 5th Wave trilogy - Rick Yancey
  24. Dustlands trilogy - Moira Young
  25. The Book Thief - Markus Zusak

Now I'm not saying these are the top twenty-five ever; they're just my current top twenty-five. I know for a fact there are a few books on my TBR list that'll make it onto this list. That's one of the great things about YA. When you think it can't get any better, a book comes along that blows you apart, breaking you and fixing you all at once.

And that's why I read YA.

If there's a book that made you feel this way that I don't have on my list, please let me know! I live for that kind of YA!

Molly Looby
Author / Editor in Chief at Molten Publishing / Freelance Editor / Writing Coach / Reviewer / Blogger / Wrimo / Movellian / ZA Ready

Monday, 3 July 2017

Book Reviews: January-June

Here are all the reviews I wrote during the first half of the year. I read more than this, but I'm changing how often I write reviews. I'm no longer going to review every book I read.

The Road to Ever After - Moira Young  (Movellas)

The Trees and Other Stories - Thomas Emson (Fangs, Claws, and Wings)
Daughter of Deep Silence - Carrie Ryan (Movellas)
Angel - L.A. Weatherly (Movellas)
The Fate of Ten - Pittacus Lore (Fangs, Claws, and Wings)
The Burning World - Isaac Marion (Movellas)
The Sky is Everywhere - Jandy Nelson (Movellas)
The Raven Boys - Maggie Stiefvater (Movellas)
United as One - Pittacus Lore (Fangs, Claws, and Wings)
The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood (Movellas)

My five top reads for the beginning of 2017:

Daughter of Deep Silence - Carrie Ryan
United as One - Pittacus Lore
The Burning World - Isaac Marion
The Sky is Everywhere - Jandy Nelson
The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood

Any books you really loved that I need to read? Comment, and I'll add them to my TBR list!

Author / Editor in Chief at Molten Publishing / Freelance Editor / Writing Coach / Reviewer / Blogger / Wrimo / Movellian / ZA Ready

Monday, 12 June 2017

United as One - Pittacus Lore

United as One is the seventh and final book in the Lorien Legacies series. I implore you to go and read them! They start with I am Number Four.

There's always a huge sense of dread when you pick up the final book in a series. It could be incredible and everything you wished for. Or maybe it's not going to live up to all the hype you've got inside you ready to burst. It's always tough picking up that last book. When I looked at the beautiful hardback edition of United as One, it filled me with this exact feeling of dread, as well as excitement to pick it up, and sadness that it was almost over.

But whoa, what a ride.

From the beginning, I felt this big weight of tension. It's all come down to this, and I was a little terrified. No, little is an understatement. After each of the first few chapters, I had to stop and steel myself for the next one. I couldn't be any more invested. I was fully involved and ensnared by this universe.

The whole thing is tense from start to finish. I thought the previous book (The Fate of Ten) was hard to put down, but this was on another level. This time, there weren't as many places to breathe. I read a lot of it with my hand covering half the page so I couldn't read ahead. I just don't have the words to describe this level of tension. It was crushing. I was gripping the book tight, my heart pounding, face getting closer and closer to the page.

Lore made it painfully obvious that none of the characters were safe, and that put me on edge even more. I knew that if I read on, people were going to die. Usually, you can name at least one character that you know will survive until the end. Not in United as One. Anyone could go at any time. And that was petrifying.

And yep, there were tears. Oh yep.

What a mad roller-coaster it was. I finished the whole thing in under 48 hours. A sense of horrible loss swallowed me up when I turned the final page but also satisfaction as, at last, everything was tied up.

All I can say is bravo, Lore. Bravo.

Author / Editor in Chief at Molten Publishing / Freelance Editor / Writing Coach / Reviewer / Blogger / Wrimo / Movellian / ZA Ready

Monday, 5 June 2017

My Awesome Zombie Awareness Month

Zombie Run 2012
So Zombie Awareness Month has come to an end for another year. This year I managed to get a lot of zombie-related stuff done during ZAM, so I thought it deserved sharing.

Of course, to start off, I shared some of my favourite ZA quotes on this very blog.

I had fun with my throwback Thursdays too, posting a picture of the Zombie Run I went on in 2012, the amazing event I had at the Chicken and Frog bookshop for ZA last year, as well as my ZA book signing at Waterstones!

I also reminded all of you that I wrote a blog about my top five zombie books, films, and games on Movellas. (You can read it here.)

YA Book Club 2017
The best part of this year's Zombie Awareness Month was being Waterstones's YA book club book for May! And what a perfect time for it! I was asked along, and it was an amazing experience. It was so great to talk to people who know all the spoilers ZA has to offer. Usually, I have to be careful with what I give away, but it was so freeing to be able to discuss any part of the book! It was also fascinating to find out what they thought of each character. Of course, Gemma was the clear favourite (I was in no doubt). It was also great that for most of them, ZA was their first zombie book. I'm sure I've opened up a door for them to discover some truly amazing zombie books!

Chicken and Frog 2016
The next most exciting thing was my Zombies, Run discovery. Zombies, Run is a fitness app I suppose. You go out running or walking, and you get the story in your headphones while you're out. As you go, you pick up bits and pieces of equipment that when you finish the mission go back to your camp. But the absolute best thing is the zombie chases. At random intervals (or as part of the plot), zombies will chase you and you have to pick up your pace to survive. I've never enjoyed running until now, and I'm finding myself dying to go out again!

And of course, I wore my Zombie Awareness Month bracelet and explained to people who asked what that was!

Until next year, survivors. Speaking of which, you can join my ZA survivors here. Stay ZA ready!

Molly Looby
Author / Editor in Chief at Molten Publishing / Freelance Editor / Writing Coach / Reviewer / Blogger / Wrimo / Movellian / ZA Ready