The Horrifying Search History of a Writer

Watch on YouTube

You know how some people just have really weird search history? Like, normal people search odd things on the internet, usually funny things like cat videos, but writer…we open up a whole new brand of weird.

I thought it would be nice to make today’s blog post all about the weird, sometimes nasty things us authors tend to Google. Not only am I going to tell you different things I’ve caught myself Googling over the years, but I’d love to hear the different things everyone else has Googled as well.

Murder

We’ve all killed of characters in our stories, so odds are you’ve also Googled how to get away with murder, how to kill someone, what it takes to kill someone. You get the idea.

Decaying Bodies

When I wrote Essence, my first novel, I did a lot of research on decaying bodies. Not because it’s a zombie book, but it is a book about the afterlife. There may be a point where a character comes into contact with a dead body, and I wanted to know if it’s been sitting there for awhile, will it be stiff or…? And I promise you Essence is not a morbid novel. I probably didn’t need to Google that fact…

Diseases

I’ve noticed that I like to write about diseases in my novels. I am Mercy is all about the black plague. I went hardcore into finding out all the symptoms of the plague and let me tell you, it ain’t pretty. For example, people had these things called buboes (swelling) all around their groin. Imagine how painful that must have been? I like to think I only added enough detail of the plague to make the novel seem realistic, rather than gross, but I guess you guys are the judges of that.

Explosives

If you start Googling explosives than maybe the FBI is starting to keep an eye on you. But if one of your characters needs to know how to build a bomb, you have to make it realistic!

Drugs

Now only once in my life have I ever witnessed a person cracked up on drugs and that’s only because I was in Boston and there was a shirtless dude walking down the street screaming and hitting himself (and eventually the police found him and arrested him). The point is every now and then we may need a druggie in our story to help give it the extra edge, so that’s when we start Googling things to learn what effects it may have. And if you really want to see what someone looks like on drugs, you can also find a video on YouTube to get the full effect.

Google Maps

Now I’ll admit that when I was writing I am Mercy (which takes place in France) that I looked for a lot of pictures and maps of the area so I knew what I was writing about. However, I’ve talked to one writer who actually used the satellite view on Google Maps to somewhat stalk out the area. At first I thought this was a little odd, but now that I’m thinking about it, it’s actually kind of brilliant.

So those are just some category of creepy things you can find in the search history of a writer! Let me know in the comments below what odd things you’ve been Googling!

My First Experience at BookCon!

 

Guess who went to BookCon for the first time! I may have only gone for one day, but I had an amazing time! I went with a friend from college, Ellen, who is a fellow writer/booknerd. We had a fabulous time and although I didn’t get to vlog as much as I wanted to, I still want to give you guys some insight into the experience.

When Ellen and I first got there we arrived late so we missed the first book signing we wanted to attend. As BookCon newbie’s we also didn’t know that you needed autograph tickets to go to any of the signings that weren’t at a booth and by the time we realized this all the tickets were sold out. We were a little bummed but we were determined to get an autograph from at least one BIG author. And that author was Reneé Ahdieh. She had a booth signing so we bought her book about two hours before the signing and got in line about 45 minutes before-hand. And guess what? We were some of the first ones to meet her!

 Reneé Ahdieh BookCon Book Expo of America

Also, you may think standing in line for 45 minutes is boring but you meet really awesome people to fan-girl over with about books. Also, while standing there we also fan-girled over Mayim Bialik from Big Bang Theory signing her book, Girling Up.

Mayim Bialik Girling Up BookCon Book Expo of America

We went to a few panels, bought some books, got an ARC and, oh! Did I forget to mention I met Kristen Martin? It was great to finally meet a fellow author YouTuber! I’m a huge fan of Kristen’s and if you haven’t checked out her channel already, be sure to now! And since I met her I also bought her series so I could have them all signed!

new york times best selling author

All in all it was a great day! I didn’t come home with bags and bags of books, but honestly, I didn’t want to. (Do you have any idea how heavy books are?) Next year Ellen and I are crossing our fingers to go both days, and who knows, maybe I’ll see you there!

Bookcon Book Expo of America

BookCon goodies:

The Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh (signed)

The Alpha Drive, The Order of Omega, and Restitution by Kristen Martin (signed)

The Cellar by Natasha Preston

Why Do Dukes Fall in Love? by Megan Frampton

Girl in a Bad Place by Kaitlin Ward

BookCon Book Expo of America

Find me on Instagram! @mandilynnwrites

How to Create a Rainbow Bookshelf!

So a little a while ago I had arranged my books into a rainbow. And by a little awhile apparently, I mean 2015. How it already been almost two years since I arranged my books into a rainbow?? See my previous rainbow bookshelf.

Anywho, I love rainbow bookshelves. They are simply beautiful. The only downside is while everything looks pretty, it’s a total and complete mess when it comes to finding your book. Traditionally I enjoy arranging my books my author, series, and genre (preferably in that order). With that said I can be a tiny OCD when it comes to how my bookshelves look. All that aside I decided to take a deep breath and rearrange my shelves…again! Because honestly, I should probably be doing homework or something right now.
Watch me arrange my books into the prettiest of rainbows!

How to Create a Rainbow Bookshelf:

Strip your bookshelves– This makes for a great time to dust your shelves. How often does a bookworm get to see their shelves naked? Not often at all, so break out the feather duster!
Organize by color– As you pull your books off the shelves organize them in a pile by color. You know the deal: Red, orange, yellow, purple, blue….
Size up your color– this is where things start to get difficult. See what colors you have the most of and figure out how you’re going to fit them on the shelves and which color goes on which shelf. How you do this is up to you. I usually like to have the blue and purple shelves next to each other and the yellow and orange shelves next to each other.
Make a gradient– This step is annoying, but it will be worth it in the end. Work one color at a time (red/pink for example) and group all the similar tones together, then create a gradient. Your bookshelf will look beautiful!
Pile on the books! – Repeat the previous step with all your colors. Now, what about those pesky black books and white books? I usually put them at the bottom of the shelf. While I love all my books mostly equally (let’s face it, we all have favorites) when it comes to color organization, the black and white books don’t always make the cut.
Time for Trinkets– If you have any nick-knacks that you like you put on your shelves, you can organize those by color as well!
So now you should have a rainbow bookshelf! If you made a rainbow bookshelf be sure to send me the photo on Facebook or Twitter so I can see your masterpiece!

Book Unboxing || BookCase Club March 2017

Get your subscription to BookCase Cub: http://bit.ly/2ljr9R3

Use the code Mandi15 to get 15% off your purchase!

In this month’s box….
Dangerous Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
Blythewood by Carol Goodman

Follow my on Instagram! #bccunboxing

Ebooks are EVIL!

Ebooks. The essence of all that is evil.

Okay, maybe that is an exaggeration. In truth, ebooks are really great, but they’ll never be as good as a real paperback or hardback book. I love the feel of books in my hands and how they smell. And let’s not forget how you can have your very own library if you collect enough books. My goal in life is to have my own library. But of course ebooks are compact, light, and do give great convenience, but you won’t check me with them too often. $9.99 for a digital copy of a book? No thank you.

 

Must Read Love Stories!

Happy Valentine’s Day! Today we’re here to celebrate love, even if it’s fiction love! So cuddle up to your book boyfriend and take read!

Books Mentioned:

If I Stay by Gayle Forman

Fallen by Lauren Kate

Twilight by Stephenie Meyer

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

Every Day by David Levithan

The Selection by Kiera Cass

Love, Rosie by Cecelia Ahern

Kick Back and Relax During NaNoWriMo?

I cross my heart I am not going to abandon you all this NaNoWriMo season! I LOVE NaNoWriMo! I mean, it’s national novel writing month! What’s not to love about that? But since I have some intense rewrites to do, I won’t be able to post a crazy amounts of videos for you guys. On the bright side, I have TONS of videos I’ve made for all of you in the past years about NaNoWriMo, and just writing in general!

Here’s a link to my NaNoWriMo playlist: http://bit.ly/2eCyKqC

My Ya Ink playlist: http://bit.ly/2estgyu

Remember, YA Ink is a series of videos on everything you need to know about writing! Don’t see a video that answers a question you may have on writing? Let me know! I’ll make the video!

Miniature Books in my Mailbox!

Another HUGE thank you to Abigail R. Cramer! She made these adorable miniature books! Books Mentioned: The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins Threads of Blue by Abigail R. Cramer

BookCase Club UnBoxing!

Books books books! Who doesn’t love books? Especially surprise ones that come in the mail?

Get your own book case subscription! http://www.bookcase.club/

Use coupon code Mandi15 to get a 15% discount off your order!

Banned Books Week!

And so comes the time of year where we remember all the banned books. Censorship at its finest. What do you think of book banning? Good? Bad? And what about the books on that list? Understandable or ridiculous?

Here’s the link to the full article! http://time.com/4505713/banned-books-week-reasons-change/?xid=homepage