How Chronic Illness Influences My Writing | Collab with Ava Jae

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The video contains captions for anyone who needs them, but I’ve also included a detailed transcript below. Feel free to watch the video, read the post, or both, it’s (almost exactly) the same information either way. Thanks for visiting!  Continue Reading…

My Life with Neurofibromatosis and Chronic Migraines | Health Update


A video on my life with Neurofibromatosis type 1 (nf1) and chronic migraines, as well as an update about my diagnosis of pseudotumor cerebri. I’ve had a lot of questions, so I figured an in-depth video was the best way to answer them.

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I know I might have scared you a bit with my Pseudotumor Cerebri video. Out of context, it seems like a very scary thing. It is, but I’m not really a stranger to seriously intense migraines and chronic pain. Neurofibromatosis is a genetic condition I’ve had since birth, so I have a lot of experience with it.

My videos on this channel are still mainly books, writing, and general fun stuff. I wanted to make this video for anyone out there who is scared about their own diagnosis or for anyone who wants to learn more.

I also believe that disability should not be so stigmatized, so it is important to show that my health may limit me somewhat, but I am still able to live an awesome life. Chronic pain or disabilities of any sort are just a limitation, they don’t define a person.

Prince Charming is a Jerk! | Novel Writing Research


The first video in my novel writing research series!

Prince Charming is not living up to his name. Disney prince or not, these dudes can be cruel! While researching my novel, I’ve discovered some creepy, weird, and downright rude things about fairytale princes. Our princesses deserve better.

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Now before you accuse me of ruining your childhood, let me say I LOVE fairytales! But we can’t deny that some of these happily ever afters happened in creepy ways. Prince Charming is flawed, but that’s okay. No one is perfect. In today’s video I don’t hold back on any Disney princess prince, not Rapunzel, Snow White, Cinderella, Belle, or even my favorite Little Mermaid.

Young Adult Book Recs for the 2016 Election!


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Let’s Make America Read Again!

Today I have five politically themed YA book recommendations for the 2016 election! I’ve gathered five contemporary (or almost contemporary) young adult books on hot button topics like presidential elections, LGBT rights, immigration, and more.

But this isn’t a depressing book list! These stories are fun and innovative and not preachy in the slightest. This is a crazy year for politics, but it doesn’t have to be a sad year for your reading list.

Register to vote and read your way to the presidential election!

Synopsis and links to books mentioned below! (If you buy from the book depository or amazon links, I’ll get a commission. You don’t have to buy from there, but doing so helps me out. You can read my affiliate disclosure here. Happy reading either way!)

The Wrong Side of Right by Jenn Marie ThorneThe Wrong Side of Right by Jenn Marie Thorne

Amazon  Book Depository Indiebound  Goodreads

Fans of Sarah Dessen and Huntley Fitzpatrick will enjoy this smart debut young adult novel, equal parts My Life Next Door and The Princess Diaries—plus a dash of West Wing.

Kate Quinn’s mom died last year, leaving Kate parentless and reeling. So when the unexpected shows up in her living room, Kate must confront another reality she never thought possible—or thought of at all. Kate does have a father. He’s a powerful politician. And he’s running for U.S. President. Suddenly, Kate’s moving in with a family she never knew she had, joining a campaign in support of a man she hardly knows, and falling for a rebellious boy who may not have the purest motives. This is Kate’s new life. But who is Kate? When what she truly believes flies in the face of the campaign’s talking points, she must decide. Does she turn to the family she barely knows, the boy she knows but doesn’t necessarily trust, or face a third, even scarier option?

Set against a backdrop of politics, family, and first love, this is a story of personal responsibility, complicated romance, and trying to discover who you are even as everyone tells you who you should be.

The Inside of Out by Jenn Marie ThorneThe Inside of Out by Jenn Marie Thorne

Amazon  Book Depository Indiebound  Goodreads

When her best friend Hannah comes out the day before junior year, Daisy is so ready to let her ally flag fly that even a second, way more blindsiding confession can’t derail her smiling determination to fight for gay rights.
Before you can spell LGBTQIA, Daisy’s leading the charge to end their school’s antiquated ban on same-sex dates at dances—starting with homecoming. And if people assume Daisy herself is gay? Meh, so what. It’s all for the cause.

What Daisy doesn’t expect is for “the cause” to blow up—starting with Adam, the cute college journalist whose interview with Daisy for his university paper goes viral, catching fire in the national media. #Holy #cats.

With the story spinning out of control, protesters gathering, Hannah left in the dust of Daisy’s good intentions, and Daisy’s mad attraction to Adam feeling like an inconvenient truth, Daisy finds herself caught between her bold plans, her bad decisions, and her big fat mouth.

The Secret Side of Empty by Marie E AndreuThe Secret Side of Empty by Marie E Andreu

Amazon  Book Depository Indiebound  Goodreads

As a straight-A student with a budding romance and loyal best friend, M.T.’s life seems as apple-pie American as her blondish hair and pale skin. But M.T. hides two facts to the contrary: her full name of Monserrat Thalia and her status as an undocumented immigrant.

But it’s harder to hide now that M.T.’s a senior. Her school’s National Honor Society wants her to plan their trip abroad, her best friend won’t stop bugging her to get her driver’s license, and all everyone talks about is where they want to go to college. M.T. is pretty sure she can’t go to college, and with high school ending and her family life unraveling, she’s staring down a future that just seems empty. In the end, M.T. will need to trust herself and others to stake a claim in the life that she wants.

Author Maria E. Andreu draws from her personal experience as a (formerly) undocumented immigrant to explore an issue that affects over one million children in the U.S. But while the subject matter is timely, it is M.T.’s sharp, darkly funny voice and longing for a future that makes this story universally poignant.

Immaculate by Katelyn DetweilerImmaculate by Katelyn Detweiler

Amazon  Book Depository Indiebound  Goodreads

Mina is seventeen. A virgin. And pregnant.

Mina is top of her class, girlfriend to the most ambitious guy in school, able to reason and study her way through anything. But when she suddenly finds herself pregnant—despite having never had sex—her orderly world collapses. Almost nobody believes Mina’s claims of virginity. Her father assumes that her boyfriend is responsible; her boyfriend believes she must have cheated on him. As news of Mina’s story spreads, there are those who brand her a liar. There are those who brand her a heretic. And there are those who believe that miracles are possible—and that Mina’s unborn child could be the greatest miracle of all.

The Hate U Give by AC ThomasThe Hate U Give by AC Thomas

Amazon Goodreads

Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter navigates between the poverty-stricken neighborhood she has grown up in and the upper-crust suburban prep school she attends. Her life is up-ended when she is the sole witness to a police officer shooting her best friend, Khalil, who turns out to have been unarmed during the confrontation – but may or may not have been a drug dealer. As Starr finds herself even more torn between the two vastly different worlds she inhabits, she also has to contend with speaking her truth and, in the process, trying to stay alive herself.

March: Book One by John LewisMarch: Book One by John Lewis

Amazon  Book Depository Indiebound  Goodreads

Congressman John Lewis (GA-5) is an American icon, one of the key figures of the civil rights movement. His commitment to justice and nonviolence has taken him from an Alabama sharecropper’s farm to the halls of Congress, from a segregated schoolroom to the 1963 March on Washington, and from receiving beatings from state troopers to receiving the Medal of Freedom from the first African-American president.

Now, to share his remarkable story with new generations, Lewis presents March, a graphic novel trilogy, in collaboration with co-writer Andrew Aydin and New York Times best-selling artist Nate Powell (winner of the Eisner Award and LA Times Book Prize finalist for Swallow Me Whole).

March is a vivid first-hand account of John Lewis’ lifelong struggle for civil and human rights, meditating in the modern age on the distance traveled since the days of Jim Crow and segregation. Rooted in Lewis’ personal story, it also reflects on the highs and lows of the broader civil rights movement.

Book One spans John Lewis’ youth in rural Alabama, his life-changing meeting with Martin Luther King, Jr., the birth of the Nashville Student Movement, and their battle to tear down segregation through nonviolent lunch counter sit-ins, building to a stunning climax on the steps of City Hall.

Many years ago, John Lewis and other student activists drew inspiration from the 1950s comic book “Martin Luther King and the Montgomery Story.” Now, his own comics bring those days to life for a new audience, testifying to a movement whose echoes will be heard for generations.

I hope you like these books! This list is not as long as I’d like, so please give me more recommendations if you have them.

What have you read recently? Let me know in the comments!

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Join AuthorTube!


Do you make writing videos on YouTube? *starts chanting* Join us, join us… We’ve made a support group for Author YouTubers! (I wanted to call it WriterTube, but it works both ways.)

Click here to visit the AuthorTube Facebook group.

Here’s the group description:

AuthorTubers aims to be a support community for Authors/Writers on YouTube. Writing is isolating, but YouTube shouldn’t be! It doesn’t matter if you have the time to upload every week or you’re on deadline and can only check in once every few months. AuthorTube is a place to find resources, ideas, friends, and fellow YouTubers based around the passion we all share.

You don’t have to give up BookTube to be an author vlogger. You don’t have to join it either. Just like everyone has their own style of writing, we hope to be a diverse and inclusive place for storytellers. A rising tide lifts all boats. Publishing is a small world. We are here to support one another.

Pantsing vs Plotting: To Outline or Not To Outline?


Are you a pantser or a plotter? Either way, you’ll find good company in this panel featuring both sides with authors Alexa Donne, Susan Dennard, Roshani Chokshi, Robyn Schneider, Michelle Schusterman, Lindsay Ribar, and Kamilla Benko!

Is revision easier with an outline? How detailed should an outline be? Is it worth writing the wrong thing to learn the right one? Is the process the same with every book? Learn all this and more about plotting your book!

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