March 2020 writing update

I’m really terrible at giving writing updates, wow. And considering this website is supposed to be an author website, I guess I should give you updates on author related things.
So in February I applied for Author Mentor Match which I have linked so you can see what it’s like if you want.
Long story short, I didn’t get in. But what it did allow me to do was have a deadline to finally finish my book, write the synopsis, and write a query letter. Pretty much everything that you need to submit to an agent.
In my opinion, it wasn’t a total bust. It makes you prepare for what the next process is going to be. And then it also gives you a taste of what the waiting is like. Agents don’t get a hold of you right away. In fact sometimes it’s four to six months that you could wait to hear back. Most of the time you don’t get a response at all if it’s a rejection. You look at each agents guidelines and see how long it could be that you could wait for a response. If it’s six months, and you waited seven or eight months, chances are that’s a rejection. And unless you actually have another agent wanting to give you representation, that’s the only time that you contact other agents back. Otherwise you can’t contact them and ask if they received your submission. Or what their answer is, because they are too busy.
It’s a pain in the butt, but understandable.
So what did I do? I adjusted my query letter to be able to submit to agents, and that’s what I’m doing right now. Submitting to six or seven agents at a time and well, waiting for feedback or rejections, or until it’s passed their response time.
Or you know, waiting for somebody asking to read more of my manuscript. That’s always a goal.
While that’s happening I actually have three other projects on the go. Which isn’t something I used to do. I didn’t like working on more than one project at a time. But if writer’s block hits, it’s more productive to start working on something else then not working on anything at all.
I can’t really tell you much about either project, I can tell you that one is a poetry collection. Another is an adult paranormal romance that is a crossover into horror. The final, the one with the least amount of work done to it, is a young adult book that will feature a physically disabled main character that should be in the vein of The Magicians or Ninth house. That one will be an #OwnVoices novel.
Other than that I also attended an online writers conference called WriteOnCon, it was amazing and well worth the money. And actually incredibly cheap. I ended up getting the more expensive ticket, it was like $30. Worth it in my opinion. You also have a really long time to access the videos and blogs.
That’s all I have in the way of an update. You should hear from me in a couple of weeks about another book review.

Have a good day!

Review: Rules for Being a Girl by Candace Bushnell and Katie Cotugno

I received an ARC copy of this book from Harper Teen Canada in exchange for my honest opinion.

5/5 stars

This book was incredible! I was hoping to enjoy this book when I requested it but I know that I don’t typically like contemporary. Rules for Being a Girl was a really wonderful surprise. The premise is important and hard hitting; I never stopped rooting for the main character.

Feminism is really important in our society. It can be written really well, or sometimes it isn’t handled well at all. Sometimes it’s preachy, catty, or non-inclusive.

Do remember being a kid? One time someone fed you vegetables, and suddenly it tasted really good, and you realized that it was prepared right? That’s the best way I can explain this book. Feminism, prepared just right.

The writing was easy to read and flowed well. You couldn’t even tell that it was two different authors.

I would recommend this book to everyone.

Review: Red Hood by Elana K. Arnold

I received an ARC of this from the publisher, in exchange for my honest review.

5 stars
Absolutely fantastic!

Red Hood by Elana K. Arnold was a beautiful and important book. And written in a way where you go “holy sh*t” right as you finish it. It is, in my opinion a metaphor for rape culture and victim blaming. But written in the guise of a modern day Red Riding Hood story. This is a story of the ingrained power of the feminine. And regaining power as a female.

There are a couple of triggers in this book.
1. Mentions of Rape/abuse.

2. Victim blaming. (Not from the POV of the author.)

3. Mention of abortion (this does trigger some people so I wanted to include it here.)

#AMMConnect Round 7

Ok so I’m doing this post a bit late, but I still have time! This is my #AMMConnect post.

My name is Kala Godin. I am a physically disabled woman and writer living in Alberta, Canada. A year ago I self-published a poetry collection. And I’ve been writing with the intention to be published since graduating high school, which was about 5 years ago. 

Since then I’ve had a couple of writing jobs, mostly writing for websites as blogs or columns. Most recently I wrote about my physical disability at SMA News Today, I was with them for a year.

Along with poetry, I also write fantasy, horror, and paranormal in both the Young Adult and Adult age genres. Because of my poetry background, I like to write lyrical descriptions. 

My project for round 7 of Author Mentor Match is a YA dark fantasy. The basic concept is what happens when modern teenagers looking to get away from the world, try to become gods instead. What an obsession with power does to a person’s morals. And what that amount of power does to someone’s personality. I like to play with the idea of what a monster is and what it isn’t.

I think I’d be a great mentee simply for the fact that I’m willing to put in the work. Yes, I’ve self-published before, but my intention was always to be traditionally published. A great writing career isn’t a book that is hyped up and then the author disappears. I want a consistent writing career. I want to publish books and have a consistent readership. Ultimately everybody thinks that they want the hype of Twilight or Harry Potter. But those didn’t end up being consistent careers. That’s not what I want.
I take criticism well, and I tend to be better with blunt criticism rather than sugar coating. I like to get right down to what the problem is. Of course I like to hear what I’ve done well. But if I can make it better, that’s what I want to do. 

The only thing is that I tend to work slowly, but that is due to the physical disability.

I have a couple of pinterest boards for some of my characters.

Asteria 

Kai 

Loki 

And a general aesthetic.

I hope you browse through the boards and get a sense of who my characters are.

Here’s the link to the original #AMMConnect post. 

Review: The Last Confession of Autumn Casterly

I received an ARC of The Last Confession of Autumn Casterly by Meredith Tate from Penguin Teen Canada in exchange for my honest review.

I’m rating this as a 3.5 stars.

It was a good read, with a very interesting concept.

But there was quite a bit that I didn’t necessarily enjoy about it. There were a couple of parts that I think could have actually been taken out. I understand that suspense novels have dead ends sometimes. But there was a lot of instances in the book where we were leading up to something that would be a dead end. Some  didn’t even make sense. I think if we would have taken at least one of these out it would have helped the pacing of the book.

Also I wasn’t sure that the plot twist at the end made much sense. It felt weird and detached from the rest of the story and it the characters.

However it was easy to read and I like the speculative twist that was the main part of the story. It was a fun read! 

October Update

Hello, I hope everyone is having a good fall! Or whatever other weather you are having! I haven’t given a proper update in a long time. For one it’s hard to update you on writing. That’s because it can be hard to see progress until a project is complete. What I can tell you is that I have completed my first readthrough of my manuscript. And I’ve started my first round of plot edits. 

In october I had my first book signing. It made me nervous but was a great experience.

Since my last update I up-ed my reading goal to 40 instead of 30. So far I have read 36 books for the year. Nearly there!

In the House in the Dark of the Woods by Laird Hunt: 1 star

DNF… I buddy read this one with my mom. It was terrible. The writing style seemed similar to Emma Donoghue’s in Kissing the Witch. Which is a style that I tend to like. It sounds poetic and seems to flow well. But in this story it didn’t work. We often didn’t know what was happening. 

Aphrodite Made Me Do It by Trista Mateer: 4 stars

Received an e-arc from Netgalley. I loved it a lot. Almost all of the poems were relatable in some way or another. I read them all, and I never found myself wanting to skip one. The art inside is also beautiful. Ultimately I think it’s a really well-done poetry collection. 

Year One, and Of Blood and Bone by Nora Roberts: 4 stars

It’s pretty rare that I will pick up a book by Nora Roberts, because I tend to think that she writes only romance or mysteries. I actually picked up this series because of the controversy that happens between her and Tomi Adeyemi, the author of Children of Blood and Bone. I wanted to see what the fuss was about on Tomi’s end. Quite honestly I found the whole debacle hilarious, as the books are not similar at all. Anyway yes, these books definitely do have romance in them. But that’s not the main point. Originally I thought this was a duology, but then I found out that the third one should be out around December. This is a great series. 

The Weight of a Soul By Tammy Elizabeth: 1 star

DNF… Received an e-arc from Netgalley. I stopped reading the book at 20%. I just didn’t gel with it. I found that there was a lot of info dumping right at the beginning, that didn’t really need to be there. 

My Best Friend’s Exorcism by Grady Hendrix: 3.5 stars. 

I buddy read this one as well with my mom. It was good, though the first third was slow. But it was necessary to the rest of the book. If you have a weak stomach though, maybe check out some spoiler reviews to prepare yourself.

Betty Bites Back: Stories to Scare the Patriarchy edited by Mindy McGinnis, Demitria Lunetta, Kate Karyus Quinn: 3 stars

 I received an e-arc of this from netgalley. The beginning of it was interesting enough, but then around 60% through the book I noticed that I didn’t enjoy the stories as often. To the point that there was a number of them that I skipped. It’s an interesting premise to write an anthology about, and some of the stories were executed well. However I don’t think all of them necessarily lived up to it. In my opinion, only about half of them interested me.

Fix Her Up by Tessa Bailey: 5 stars

SO GOOD! Review done.

Song of the Crimson Flower by Julie C. Dao: 3 stars

Physical arc from Penguin Teen Canada. Full review here. http://www.kalagodin.com/2019/09/17/review-song-of-the-crimson-flower-by-julie-c-dao/

Rules for Vanishing by Kate Alice Marshall: 5 stars

Physical arc from Penguin Teen Canada. Full review here. http://www.kalagodin.com/2019/09/30/review-rules-for-vanishing-by-kate-alice-marshall/

Wilder Girls by Rory Power: 5 stars

This was weird and so good! And kinda gross, but still really good. I don’t really get why people are saying that it’s like Lord of the Flies… 

Currently reading: Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia 

Well that’s pretty much all I have to update you with. 
Happy reading and writing!

Review: Rules for Vanishing by Kate Alice Marshall

 I received an ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review.
5 Stars

I like scary books. Scarier, the better. 

And Rules for Vanishing was perfectly freaky. It’s format is written to mimic The Blair Witch Project.  But it manages to take that concept to another level entirely. 

Holy hell this book was incredible and spooky. Kate manages to genuinely freak you out for a very large portion of this book. And the plot twists… omg!

*chefs kiss*

The writing style and the format of this book was phenomenal.

Review: Song of the Crimson Flower by Julie C. Dao

First, I would like to thank Penguin Teen Canada for providing me a physical ARC of this. I am honored to have received a copy!

Review: 

3 stars

This review doesn’t contain spoilers.

From what I understand this is a companion novel from one of her other series. I have never read anything else by her. And I can happily say that you don’t need to in order to understand this book.

What I loved most about the book was actually the setting, history, and politics. And I don’t like politics, so that’s saying a lot. 

Julie did a really wonderful job of putting you right into the world. Showing you where they live, and how. The setting was very beautiful; in just a couple of lines you can tell exactly what the characters are seeing.

However I was not highly invested in the main story between the main characters. There was a lot of side characters though that I would have liked to know more about. The main story is very soft. Starting softly and ending so as well. The stakes don’t seem very high, and even when they do, I didn’t feel that there was enough emotional build up to feel strongly about what was happening. 

I also felt that a lot of the timing of certain point reveals was quite a bit off. One character served only to confirm the plot points that were already known by the characters. To the point where you can actually tell when we would be interacting with that character. It was almost always a chapter after a big reveal, only for them to confirm what we already knew. 

If you like books that don’t necessarily have a lot of emotional turmoil, this would be perfect. I find that this book would be a good palate cleanser. Or if you like books that don’t have super high stakes, then I would definitely recommend this. 

An Announcement!

Hi everyone, I’m excited to announce some really cool news! On August 23rd, from 11am to 3 p.m, I will be doing a book signing at the Chapters location in Red Deer, Alberta. Copies of my poetry collection Witchcraft and Monsters will be available for purchase at that book signing.
Come on over to say hi, ask me any writing related questions, and maybe pick up your next read!
I hope to see there!

Review

Review of Aphrodite Made Me Do It by Trista Mateer

I received an ARC copy on netgalley of this poetry collection, in exchange for my honest review.

“To sing of love is almost always to sing of war.”

I’ve followed Trista’s journey as a poet for a very long time. All the way back before her collection Honey Bee, when she was still only on Tumblr.

From there her poetry has grown, while never losing touch with who she is. And always having a consistent voice.

Now typically with poetry collections, I tend to skip a poem here and there. As they just don’t click with me. However with Trista’s poetry, I can find something to connect with in each poem. Whether it’s the whole poem, or simply just a phrase.

Her writing always manages to spark emotion. I will be giving this collection a 4.5 star.

“She says, “I thought you weren’t looking for love.”

I say, “That doesn’t mean I’m not hoping it will find me.”