THE KATY’S BEST OF 2015

I hope everyone had a wonderful Holiday season and New Years! I took off of one of my jobs so that I could spend more time with my little family. It was awesome.

Now that I’m back to the grind, I thought I’d share some of my favorite books, posts, and other highlights from 2015!

This may get long…2015 was a great year!

Let’s get the longest category out of the way: BOOKS.

2015 Fave books

I’m not really sure if I had a completely #1 favorite book of 2015. There were so many to choose from that I could talk about for hours, so in no particular order here are my top ten! …They are pretty much all Sci-fi/dystopian lit!

  • Killshot by Aria Michaelsbookcover
    • Aria was my first author interview EVER. She wrote such an awesome book, I knew I needed to hear more about it. I’m so happy she agreed to answer a few questions!
    • Killshot is about a girl named Liv and how she goes from being a normal high school girl (with legit problems) to fighting for her life and the lives of those around her. Read more in my review.
    • Buy link
  • Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
    • I’m sure this book is on everyone’s “best of 2015” lists, but I had to add it. It’s awesome! (See review) I added it to my “read yearly” list on Goodreads, which only has two other books on it right now. I received “Ready Player One” from a LootCrate! Best month ever!
    • Buy link (At time of post, the paperback was cheaper than the kindle edition!)
  • UPDATED EBOOK COVER WITH TAGLINESThe Treemakers by Christina L Rozelle
    • This one is classified as YA, but definitely has some scarier parts. I loved it. It was definitely dark, yet remained hopeful through all of the horribleness. Read my reviews and interview with Christina here.
    • Christina is a great author, but also a kind and generous person. She agreed to an interview and I look forward to getting to know her more over the years!
    • Buy link
  • Prep for Doom anthology by Band of Dystopian Authors and Fans
    • This anthology was unique because all the stories intertwined even though multiple authors wrote them! (I was lucky enough to be asked to join the Band of Dystopian team as an assistant in 2015 too. I love BOD!)
    • See my review here.
    • Buy link
  • Tails of the Apocalypse by various authorstsils
    • One of my favorite anthologies I’ve read by far! Not sure if it’s because it followed animals or what, but I loved each story in a different way. Review here.
    • Buy link
  • Anything written by Sarah Noffke in 2015
  • Between Life and Death series by Ann Christy
  • halfwaydeadHalfway Dead by Terry Maggert
    • A story about a witch. I’m usually not “into” witch books, but this one is awesome! It gave me an “Odd Thomas” vibe, which is one of my all time favorite books!
    • Read more HERE and see Terry’s interview here.
    • Buy link
  • Dark Bishop by Casey L Bond and Rachael Brownell
    • This is a suspense-type romance released as a serial series. It is NOT YA. But I love it. Check out Casey’s other books as well. She writes in all different genres and I loved each world she’s created.
    • Interview with Casey here.
    • Buy link
  • Sand by Hugh Howey
    • This one was SO good. I think I liked it even more than Wool. Hugh has a way with words. I felt like I was buried in the sand, in a good way…if that’s possible.
    • Buy link

AGH! That’s ten already? How about some honorable mentions? I really could go on and on. Last year was a great year for books and I cannot wait to read more in 2016!

MORE GOOD BOOKS

Interview with Author E.R. Arroyo

Please welcome Author E.R. Arroyo to THE KATY today!

E.R. Arroyo is the author of YA dystopian series, Antius Ascending, and co-founder/owner of Band of Dystopian Authors and Fans, a Facebook community, blog, and company that champions dystopian, apocalyptic, and post-apocalyptic fiction. E.R. is passionate about books, music, and her family, and she loves to talk shop with other authors and with her readers.

WebsiteFacebookTwitterGoodreadsBand of DystopianAmazonAudible

ER Arroyo Graphic

ER: Thanks so much for having me on THE KATY!

How did you decide to become an author? Any books, movie, or people that inspired you to pursue your dream?

ER: It was a strange, roundabout series of events, honestly. I got into screenwriting back in 2008-ish and pursued that for a number of years. I’m a huge movie fan so it made sense at the time. In late 2011, I began reading ebooks while on a treadmill at Planet Fitness and in no time, I was devouring books for, really, the first time in my life. (I was a slow reader growing up and it caused me a great deal of stress, resulting in only reading what was required for most of my life, never reading for pleasure.) With my newfound love of fiction, my writing began to make a natural progression into prose. I wrote a short story for a competition, based on a dream I’d woken up gushing over. My mentor convinced me to turn it into a novel. That story became the opening sequence of Sovereign. 🙂

Are you self-published or traditionally published? Why did you choose to go that route?

ER: I’m self-published. I pursued agents and publishers for a short while before I committed to the indie route. A lot of what I was hearing at the time was that dystopian was a dead genre so far publishing houses were concerned. So I decided to go it alone!

Are you a plotter or a panster? 

ER: I’m a pretty detailed plotter. I use something called the Snowflake Method, though I have modified it a little to suit me. When I’m writing short stories, I’m far worse at pre-planning. I usually have the plot kind-of worked out in my head for shorts, but not detailed and I usually don’t write any of it out.

What draws you to writing in the Dystopian genre?

ER: When I was starting out, I was obsessively reading dystopian, so it was just the kind of frame of mind I was in when the story came to me. I love post-apocalyptic and dystopian, but it’s not the only thing I’ll ever write.

I enjoy writing dystopian because I get to make up the rules, create a world that’s similar to our own and rooted in reality, yet operates completely differently than what we know today. I like exploring human nature (good and bad) in scenarios I’ve never and will never have a chance to actually witness.

What does the Band of Dystopian Authors and Fans group on Facebook mean to you?

ER: Band of Dystopian is a tribe. We’ve created a space (and I mean we as in BOD at large, not just myself and Cheer) where we can fly our freak flags, enjoy offbeat stuff, and totally geek out with no fear or inhibition. These people GET each other, and have a common interest that bonds us. And we just really enjoy having a good time together and finding great new books to read (or movies or shows to watch)! It’s an incredible source of pride for Cheer and myself to witness what BOD has become, especially that it’s such a happy place where people love to be.

Tell us about Cori. Even though she lives in a place full of rules, she follows her own path. Where did the idea for Cori or Sovereign come about? 

ER: Sovereign was the result of a dream about the wing-stunt in the first chapter. The character was surrounded by lots of concrete, the whole imagery of it was dull, oppressive. All I knew was she was trying to escape. The rest just kind of built on from there.

Do any of your characters represent you as a whole or someone you know? Or are they qualities you admire in others?

ER: The main character, Cori, was indeed the result of… well, me. She’s like me in many ways, some being her tomboy-ish-ness, her struggle to be vulnerable and express emotion, and even her hypersensitivity to being touched. I am a person who has a lot of resolve. Once I make up my mind, I don’t waver – and I think Cori is like that as well most of the time. Also, like me, her opinions are strong ones. In contrast, she’s all the parts of me I wish were more dominant. I’d like to be braver. More physically capable like her. I’m certain we share flaws as well.

What’s your favorite genre to read/watch? 

ER: I love young adult! Dystopian, apoc, post-apoc, contemporary, teen romance, sci-fi… Favorite? I’d hate to narrow down too much further than speculative fiction! (But really, I don’t like fantasy, so I would exclude that. I lean far more science fiction.) So my favorite is YA! lol

Do you have an advice for aspiring writers?

ER: Yes. SLOW THE BUS DOWN. There may be a number of contributing factors, like our instant-gratification society along with the fact that it has become so easy to publish your own work, but it seems people feel like, 1 – they HAVE to publish the first thing they ever write (which they don’t), and 2 – they need to publish it ASAP. Revising a novel should be a patient, deliberate process. PATIENCE, young grasshoppers! Also, maybe find a mentor if you can! Maybe tackle some short stories first. Enter some contests or submit to anthologies. Learn and grow. Learn and grow. And never stop. 🙂

Tell us about your audiobook that was just released! I’m so excited for you. 

ER: Yeah! Sovereign, the novel, was released a few years ago, but I’ve just released the audiobook version, narrated by Corinne Bupp. It’s been an awesome experience and a blast hearing the book come to life. Corinne did a great job!

Any upcoming projects you’d like to share?

ER: I’m finishing up a short story for an anthology called The Doomsday Chronicles, which I’m super excited about. The Chronicles family is doing awesome, wonderful things in the short fiction business. After that, I have two half-written stories in the Antius Ascending Series (Sovereign prequels) that I plan to finish up as soon as I can! I can’t wait to finish the series and put it all out there for my readers.

Anything else you’d like to add?

ER: Yes! Band of Dystopian is hosting a release party for my audiobook Friday, December 11th from 7-9 CST! We’ll be giving away audiobooks, ebooks, and swag. Sure to be a great time!

Thank you for joining me on THE KATY today, ER! 

ER: Thank YOU!

credits for trailer

Blurb for Sovereign:

Chemical warfare has obliterated most of the world, including America, and the survivors have turned into feral beasts, save one colony, Antius, the last remnant of civilization. Seventeen-year-old Cori (aka Citizen 1206) only longs for wide open spaces and freedom. But Antius has no use for such things, just mindless drones to serve in a place with walls, fences, and laws – a lot of laws, which Cori constantly breaks. So she’s spent years plotting her escape, which is the only thing that will save her from the colony’s deranged leader, Nathan. She isn’t looking to be a hero, and she certainly isn’t looking to fall in love, but she just might do both.

Sovereign Links: AudibleAmazon

 

PREP FOR DOOM SALE! ($1.99)

I don’t usually post sales here (and save that for my Facebook page), but I love Prep For Doom! It’s awesome. See my review here and check out the sale. 🙂

Have a great Sunday night!

-Katy

Prep For Doom

by Band of Dystopian

PFD sale web graphic

The release of AVHF upon NYC’s unsuspecting populace brings bloody suffering within hours, death within a day, and spreads worldwide within a month. Online community, Prep For Doom, has risen to the top of the doomsday preparation movement. Some have written them off as crazy while others couldn’t be more serious about the safety the preppers could provide. But when AVHF strikes, their preparation may not be enough to save them. From 20 authors comes an integrated collection of short stories about a single catastrophe as experienced by many characters, some of whom will cross paths.

Where to Buy

Amazon

iBooks

Barnes & Noble

Google Play

Kobo

Other Links

Prep For Doom Website

Prep For Doom on Goodreads

About Band of Dystopian

Band of Dystopian (BOD) is a Facebook group, blog, and company dedicated to dystopian, apocalyptic, and post-apocalyptic books. Our mission is to help fans of dystopian fiction find books they will love and help authors of the genre get the word out about their work. Our community of over 2,700 readers and authors has become a supportive, interactive, and insanely fun place to be. We are branching into the publishing world with our first anthology, Prep For Doom.

We have over 200 authors in the group, plenty of great conversation, tons of giveaways, and the perfect place for dystopian lovers to find their next great read.

Join Band of Dystopian

PFD Available FB Banner

Prep for Doom Anthology release day!

Prep For Doom

by Band of Dystopian

PFD cover_official

From the imaginations of twenty authors of dystopian and post-apocalyptic fiction comes PREP FOR DOOM – an integrated collection of short stories that tell the tale of a single catastrophe as experienced by many characters, some of whom will cross paths.

What begins with a seemingly innocuous traffic accident soon spirals into a global pandemic. The release of Airborne Viral Hemorrhagic Fever upon New York City’s unsuspecting populace brings bloody suffering within hours, death within a day, and spreads worldwide within a month.

An online community called Prep For Doom has risen to the top of a recent doomsday preparation movement. Some have written them off as crazy while others couldn’t be more serious about the safety the preppers could provide in a global disaster. But when AVHF strikes, their preparation may not be enough to save them.

From authors Laura Albins, ER Arroyo, Amy Bartelloni, Brea Behn, Casey L. Bond, TK Carter, Kate Corcino, Harlow C. Fallon, Kelsey D. Garmendia, Caroline A. Gill, DelSheree Gladden, John Gregory Hancock, Casey Hays, Kate L. Mary, Jon Messenger, Monica Enderle Pierce, Cameo Renae, Hilary Thompson, Yvonne Ventresca, and Megan White.

Where to Buy

Amazon

iBooks

Barnes & Noble

Google Play

Kobo

Paperback

Other Links

Prep For Doom Website

Prep For Doom on Goodreads

Release Party (Facebook)

Join us June 27th for a day full of author takeovers, games, and great prizes, including a Kindle Fire HD7!

About Band of Dystopian

Band of Dystopian (BOD) is a Facebook group, blog, and company dedicated to dystopian, apocalyptic, and post-apocalyptic books. Our mission is to help fans of dystopian fiction find books they will love and help authors of the genre get the word out about their work. Our community of over 2,300 readers and authors has become a supportive, interactive, and insanely fun place to be. We are branching into the publishing world with our first anthology, Prep For Doom.

We have over 150 authors in the group, plenty of great conversation, tons of giveaways, and the perfect place for dystopian lovers to find their next great read.

Join Band of Dystopian

PFD Available FB Banner