Collabs

Shards of Sky Blog Tour ~ In Which I Interrogate E. C. Colton (And Try to Figure Out How to Advertise Without Sounding Pushy)

If you didn’t know, I am friends with many writers of all ages. Some of them are published, some of them have blogs, and some of them possess neither attribute. One of those friends is Emeline Colton, better known as E. C. Colton. She is the talented author behind A Change of Heart, and has been writing for about nine years. Her new novella, Shards of Sky, is available for preorder, and I had the opportunity to interview her about her book!!

Will hope prove itself worth fighting for?

Nestled within the mountains of Colorado, life is anything but perfect for two children and their negligent aunt. Yet it becomes even more of a disaster when a mysterious accident leaves Aryon mute and Jenn terrified for their futures. Battling her own sorrow, bitterness, and distant memories, Jenn journeys through the mountains of Colorado in search of their father, who may only be as real as a wisp of mist. The biggest things standing in her way are the miles of seemingly endless forest, her shattered memories, and a mysterious woman trailing her.

As she journeys on, Jenn is forced to confront her past. Has time changed her memories? What will it take to be strong and unhindered by the darkness around her? And does this woman hold the key to her past—her real past?

But no matter where Jenn goes, a shard of sky shines bright overhead as a distant reminder of the hope she’s fighting to hold onto—and the person she could become. 

Heart-wrenching and emotionally moving, this story delivers a powerful message of courage and the wonder of hope. 

So, without further ado, let’s get started!!

1. How long did it take you to write Shards of Sky?

To be honest, when I get asked this question, my mind can’t help but blank. 😅 I’d say the first draft took one or two months, but the whole editing process took a lot longer.

2. Where did the initial inspiration for the story come from?

Well, first and foremost, I believe all inspiration comes from God. And quite frankly, I have no idea where the story idea came from. I was doing house cleanup one day, when the idea popped into my mind. Later that day, I sat down and wrote the first chapter of Shards of Sky — and I loved it so much, I just had to keep writing.

3. Who is your favorite character, and why?

Ooh, good question. I love all my characters, but I’d say Jenn. She’s extremely real to me, and though she’s really weak physically, she proves her strength in unexpected ways. I think if she was a real person, we’d get along fairly well — not that we’re alike at all, though!

Marisa would be a close second. She’s really fun-loving and quirky, and she and Jenn are like, complete opposites. I think we’d also get along pretty well, too, if she was a real person. If only… 😂

4. Did you base any of the characters on a real-life person? If so, why?

I don’t really base my characters off of people in real life, for some reason. I find it’s easier for me to picture them in their situations when I can take liberty with their personalities and little quirks — though if I ever met someone like my main characters, I’d be positively thrilled.

5. What is your favorite scene?

I have two. Here are both of them!

Jenn turned and walked away in open defiance, out onto the porch. Her rebelliousness crumbled and she sucked in a breath, then let it out slowly.

Slowly.

She looked up at the sky, the sea of endless bright blue. Somewhere out there was her Dad. Her Dad. Not any other girl’s — but hers.

She was just waiting. Waiting for him to come, because that was what mattered. Standing right there on the deck and staring into a sea of blue, she felt her hopes soaring again, the eight years of waiting shattering into insignificance. He seemed so close — so close that she could reach out and step into his hug.

Who knew? Any minute, he could appear. And change their lives.

Dad, when are you coming?

~

Jenn sat up.

Around her, a blaze of color ignited with a spark of life. A bluebird fluttered by, wings a flashing pinwheel of blue that reflected the sky. The shrill song of a warbler made its way through the maze in her mind.

Her hands were scarred by brambles — scars from her journey. Her soul felt heavy enough that she could barely resist the imagined downward pull of the earth.

Jenn felt as though a butterfly often does when it emerges from a cocoon — different and odd, as though she wasn’t the same person anymore. She almost felt as though she had been transformed — but in a way that was no longer remarkable, no longer beautiful, no longer whole.

~

I love the first scene, because it displays what Jenn wants most in life — to be loved, and wanted, and cared for by her father. As for the second, I loved writing that scene and the description.

6. What are some of your favorite quotes?

And then the people who had taken them away and driven them to a cold, stark white building. The kind woman at the front desk had given them lollipops — Jenn could still remember the flavored sugar melting against her tongue. 

.

Closing her eyes and letting the warmth of the blanket calm the storm raging in her mind, she sunk into the depths of sleep. 

But even sleep wouldn’t erase her memories.

.

The hawk was still calling in sharp, peaked tones.

It was screaming. Screaming at the world and everything in it. At that moment, Jenn wished she could be a hawk, releasing all that pent-up frustration and fear that burdened her.

.

She could only hope that she wouldn’t explode with all the confusion and tension that were whirling in her mind like shards of broken glass.

Those are a few of my favorites, because I love the feeling each of them conveys.

7. Out of all your published works, where does Shards of Sky rank?

I’ve only published two books, but in my personal opinion, Shards of Sky is definitely better than my other novelette (after all, I wrote that one when I was nine!). I love it because it basically represents the type of stories I’ve always wanted to write — the tear-jerking, soul-searching, thought-provoking ones for young adult readers.

Shards of Sky was originally titled Voiceless, and it was a story about a girl who was trying to restore her mute brother’s voice. It’s changed drastically over the months of editing, though, so after I finished major plotline edits, I decided to change it because the old title wasn’t as fitting. I was re-reading my old drafts, when I stumbled upon a quote where Jenn, the MC, looked up at a piece of the sky through the branches and it inspired her to keep going. I incorporated more of that into the storyline, and eventually retitled the story after that aspect. I love the title, because it conveys an image of hope–but it doesn’t make much sense until you read the book.

8. Where did the title come from?

Shards of Sky was originally titled Voiceless, and it was a story about a girl who was trying to restore her mute brother’s voice. It’s changed drastically over the months of editing, though, so after I finished major plotline edits, I decided to change it because the old title wasn’t as fitting. I was re-reading my old drafts, when I stumbled upon a quote where Jenn, the MC, looked up at a piece of the sky through the branches and it inspired her to keep going. I incorporated more of that into the storyline, and eventually retitled the story after that aspect. I love the title, because it conveys an image of hope–but it doesn’t make much sense until you read the book.

9. On a scale of one to ten, how much do you enjoy breaking readers’ hearts?

Hands down, a ten, though that does sound pretty cruel. I’ve always wanted to write tear-jerkers, the type that make readers emotional. And honestly, it never happened until I wrote Shards of Sky — and I when my beta readers started crying, was quite proud of myself. 

10. Do you have any advice for young writers struggling with the publishing and/or marketing process?

Write down your battle plan in advance, and take your time. When figuring out the publishing and marketing process, learning in advance and knowing exactly what you have to do when is super important. Refer to the reason you wanted to publish in the first place, and let that fuel you to keep going.

And most of all–pray. God will strengthen you to do what seems humanly impossible. I’ve seen this time and time again during my publication and marketing processes. I think that’s one of the most important aspects of writing — co-authoring with God.

I really enjoyed interviewing E. C. Colton, and I am looking forward to getting my hands on her book!

Shards of Sky is available for preorder, and if you preorder it, you will be sent several digital gifts (or goodies, as Em put it XD) such as:

  • Digital artwork
  • Desktop and mobile wallpapers
  • An exclusive letter from the author
  • A free e-copy to give to a friend
  • AND a printable Shards of Sky bookmark!

Go here to preorder this beautiful book, and go here to fill out the form for the preorder goodies! The submission deadline is April 18th, so if you want to get your preorder goodies, make sure you fill out the form before then! You can also find this book on Goodreads here!

Here is the blog tour schedule, if anyone wants to see whose posts are coming up:

April 8 – E. C. Colton at Quill of Hope (intro), Cynthia at Achinty (interview) 

April 9 – Mia Harden at Windows to Mia (interview)

April 10 – Daniel L. Amador at The Right Kind of Writer (review)

April 11 – J. S. Clingman at My Little Hole in the Ground (interview)

April 12 – Allie Jo Anderson at Allie Jo Anderson (review)

April 13 – Althea Truth at Apple Blossoms (interview)

April 14 – Liesl Brunner at Quote, Unquote (interview), Ryan Elizabeth at Ryan Elizabeth Writes (interview), Hannah E. M. at Precarious Book Stacks (review)

April 15 – Allyson Jamison at Shay’s Scribbles (interview)

April 16  – Addison Vallier at Story Well (interview)

April 17 – Cara from Paper Strider (review)

April 18 (launch day) – E. C. Colton at Quill of Hope (finale), Samantha Hopper at Stuck in a Story (review & interview)

I hope you guys enjoyed reading this interview!

E. C. Colton is a Christian, entrepreneur, cat mom, and author of A Change of Heart. She strives to write stories that illustrate deep truths through realistic characters. When she’s not writing, you’ll find her drawing, designing graphics, and scribbling away in a vintage notebook with a cup of tea. 

Awards, Blog Tags

The Outstanding Original Blogger Award ~ In Which I am Apparently Outstanding

I don’t know why, but the size and shape of that banner thingy is really annoying me

Not too long ago, I was scrolling through a post on one of the blogs I follow, when I saw my name. Intrigued, I scrolled back up, and realized that I was tagged. Now that I was a little more invested in the post, I went back through and read the whole thing. That was when I realized that not only had I been tagged for a blog tag, it was an award!

So, thank you, Bea, for tagging me for this award! Let’s get started!!

Rules:

  1. Provide the link to the creator’s original award post (Here it is)
  2. Answer the questions provided
  3. Create 7 unique questions
  4. Nominate 10 bloggers. Ensure that they are aware of their nomination. Neither the award’s creator, nor the blogger that nominated you can be nominated.
  5. At the end of 2021, every blog that pingbacks the creator’s original post will be entered to win the 2021 Outstanding Blogger award.

Alright, now that all that boring stuff is out of the way, let’s move on to the fun stuff: the questions!!

1. What Is Your Favorite Hobby?

Oh boy.

If anyone knows me, they know that this is a loaded question XD The amount of hobbies I have is ridiculous.

I love scrapbooking, because putting pictures and journaling on a page to preserve memories is so much fun. My family has been scrapbooking for almost my whole life, and I love looking at all the pictures.

I also enjoy writing songs, because there’s nothing quite like putting melodies and harmonies and stories and accompaniments together to make something that might touch someone’s life.

And I love to write and sing and act and a bunch of other stuff.

I guess I really don’t have a “favorite” hobby. I love them all!

2. Have You Ever Dyed Your Hair?

No, I haven’t, but I would like to one day. Maybe highlights or tips?

If I were to dye it, I’m not sure what color I would get. Literally everyone says purple (including the personality quizzes I took!) but I would also love to have blue.

3. What Is an Abnormal Fear You Have?

I used to be paranoid of bugs crawling into my ears. Still am, to be honest, although not quite as much. I was a strange child.

4. Do You Like Asparagus?

Yeah, I love asparagus!! Archibald, Junior, and them. They’re great!

*director rushes in*

*whispers*

Oh yeah, okay.

*whispers again*

WHAT?!!!

*director nods, rushes off again*

No, I hate asparagus. It tastes nasty. And the texture….*shivers*

5. Scrunchies, Yay or Nay?

Yay!

I used to have a scrunchie that I wore on my wrist for no reason whatsoever.

Then the rubber band snapped, and I was very sadz.

6. What, In Your Opinion, Is the Point of Life?

*exhales* Um….okay.

I think the purpose of life is to love and serve God. No one knows the real reason He put us on this earth, but our existence is not pointless, and never will be. It’s up to God to decide what we are here for. He loves all of his children and wants them to love Him back.

*wipes brow*

That was an unexpected question. Is the next one more lighthearted?

7. Do You Use Text Abbreviations While Actually Texting?

Yeah, this is definitely a lot more lighthearted.

I don’t text, mainly because I don’t have a phone, but if I did text, there would be little to no abbreviations. I prefer proper grammar 98% of the time.

So yeah.

My Questions:

  1. If You Had an Unlimited Amount of Candy For a Day, How Much Would You Eat?
  2. Does Anyone in Your Family Scrapbook?
  3. Do You Like to Sing?
  4. Do You Know Your Vocal Range?
  5. Are You Homeschooled, or Have You Been? What Did You Take From it?
  6. What is Your Dream Job?
  7. What Was Your Favorite TV Show When You Were Younger?

My Nominees:

Liesl @ Quote, Unquote

Maya @ Maya Joelle

Chloe @ Chloe Mali

Essie @ Esther Josephine Writes

Allison @ A Farm Girl’s Life

Diamond @ I Have 12% of a Plan

Mary @ Wild Writing Dreams

Sarah @ The Sarcastic Elf

Meredith @ Artsy Arrow

Danny @ The Right Kind of Writer

I hope you guys enjoyed reading my answers to Bea’s questions!

Thanks for reading!!