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Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Back Cover Summary - The Bone Whistle!

All right, loyal fans and readers, it's that time again! I'm excited to share with you the back cover summary for The Bone Whistle, the upcoming final release of The Gateway Chronicles. Enjoy!

Darcy burned with the pain of knowing she’d failed. What happened when a prophecy didn’t come true? It must not have been much of a prophecy in the first place. And if they couldn’t trust in that, then they couldn’t trust in anything at all.

Five years ago, Darcy first received the prophecy of the Six, which stated she and her friends would save the land of Alitheia from a shadowy foe. For five years, she hasn’t known what the end will look like, but she certainly didn’t expect this.

Thrust back into Alitheia through unexpected means, Darcy winds up alone, scared, and without her recent memory. As she struggles to regain her lost memories and reunite with the ones she loves, she pieces together the prophecies and the oracles to find they all converge into one story - a story that tells her just how much she’ll have to give to save both worlds, and everyone she loves.

Pursued through Alitheia by forces desperate to kill them, Darcy and her friends take a journey fraught with danger that will lead them, inevitably, to the final confrontation with the Shadow. Armed with newfound knowledge of how the prophecy of the Six will play out, Darcy and the others must have faith in the face of mounting odds and adversity. Ultimately, the greatest courage of all belongs not to those who give something of themselves, but to those who let go of what they could never control.

Filled with stunning losses, heart-wrenching reunions, unexpected twists, and the power of love and sacrifice, the conclusion to The Gateway Chronicles will leave you breathless and begging for more from author K. B. Hoyle. 

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Idiotic Adults, and Other Problems with YA Literature

I love Young Adult literature as much as the next person, probably more than most, given my position, but because I spend so much time reading YA, I've come to identify some recurring and troubling problems. The following are, of course, generalities, and the presence of any of these elements in a book doesn't mean that I won't/don't like the story, but they do tend to grate on me. These are also things I've tried to avoid in my own writing, so if you think I am myself an offender, definitely call me out!

1) Idiotic Adults. This one can be found all over. It's present in almost every YA book I read, and it never ceases to bother me. YA books these days tend to have a cast of teenage characters who are inexplicably wiser than any of the adults in the stories. Adults in YA literature are idiots, worthless, and/or wicked. They never have the answers, and they tend to contribute to the problems. Now, I understand that YA authors are trying to reach out to their primary fan base - teenagers - by giving them wish-fulfillment stories in which the teenagers save the day, and I don't have a problem with teenagers saving the day. But I do have a problem with the consistent lack of adult leadership. It sends a message to young people that they don't need adults in their lives, that when they enter adulthood themselves, they'll be relegated to the ranks of stupid and senile, and that wisdom is attained by the age of 17. Not only are all of these things false, but they are potentially damaging to a teenager's psyche and to the families of which they are a part. A wise mentor - at least one - was a staple of older literature for good reason, and I'd like to see it return to modern YA lit. Let's send a message to young people that, yes, they do have great potential, and yes, they can do great things, but they should also follow in the footsteps of wiser adults who have gone before them.

As a side note on this issue, I find it difficult to suspend disbelief when the teenagers save the world/have all the answers sans the expertise of any adults.

2) Age-inappropriate romance. Oh, the throes of teenage romance! Is there anything more dramatic or angst inducing in a young person's life? I fully understand the depth of feeling and emotion that comes with teenage romances, and I do believe that teenagers can fall legitimately in love, but it's rare for a teenage romance to be fully mature - especially after only a few days, which we're constantly asked to accept in YA lit. Teenagers do behave differently in relationships than adults do, and there are some things that come only with age and maturity, but I think many YA authors forget this when writing their romantic pairings. I recently finished a book in which the two main characters are only 15 years old, yet the way the author describes their thought processes toward each other (including sexuality) is more akin to how two 30-year-olds would think about each other. The mental processes of the characters did not match their ages, and that leads me to the next issue...

3) Age-inappropriate characterization. Kids should act and think primarily like kids. And like it or not, teenagers are still kids! When I read a book where the characters are 13, I want them to think and act like 13-year-olds. And this should be different from how 15-year-olds think and act, which should be different from how 17-year-olds act, etc... In fact, each year of a teenager's life bring great changes - intellectually, physically, spiritually, and in maturity - and to not differentiate between the ages is sloppy writing and disingenuous to teenagers themselves. I think a reader ought to be able to accurately guess the ages of the characters without them actually being stated, yet I'm constantly surprised when reading YA. "Wait... this character is only 14? I thought she was 18!" I think sometimes authors just want to publish a YA book, but they don't really want to put the time and effort in to figuring out how teenagers act, think, and speak. So what I find over and over again are stories that contain adults parading around as teenagers.

4) The most specialist girls in the world! I don't have a problem, per se, with the trend toward spunky female protagonists in YA lit, and I can't be too critical of it, as I also have female protagonists, but it is getting a little... overdone. Female YA protagonists are beginning to look like cookie cutters of each other, and it's almost without fail that the stories hinge on these girls being the most specialist girls in the world. But how long will readers buy into this repeating storyline? Spunky teenage girl discovers she's the key to solving all of society's ills while teaming up with tragic, brooding, attractive male counterpart. I tried to avoid this cliche by making Darcy reliant on a cast of characters (and wise, adult mentors!), rather than finding all the answers within herself.

All right, these are just a few of mine, but this blog post is getting long, so I'll leave it at that. Agree with me? Disagree? What are some trends of YA lit that bother you?

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

A Rested Brain

As I sit before my loyal Scribbus MacDoodle (my laptop, of course), I can't help but breathe a sigh of relief. I haven't blogged much this year - or, at all - but I have finished another manuscript and submitted it to my editing team, and I'm in that sweet spot of waiting for one of my two manuscripts to come back to me. The copy edit is currently underway for The Bone Whistle, and the manuscript evaluation is underway for Breeder. I don't know how long it will be on either of these, but it is a strange feeling to have no writing or editing hanging over my head. I haven't had a break like this since . . . I can't remember when, actually, but it's offering me a good opportunity to get caught up on some things I've been neglecting all these long months. Such as blogging. So this is just a basic update on a rested brain about a few of the things I have coming up.

Tomorrow night I go to speak at a gathering of educators in a suburb about a half hour north of me. I'm looking forward to sharing my publishing journey with them and getting to know them and their visions for their students. Hopefully I can build some good relationships there that will endure and lead to some speaking engagements with some of their schools in the coming months.

At the end of the month, I travel to Georgia to visit a school during their spring literature day. I'll get to be in a few classrooms and interact with the students one on one - something I really enjoy doing. I started writing my first novel when I was eleven, so I really have a passion to encouraging that creative spirit from an early age.

In July, I'll be speaking as part of a writing workshop at my local library in Alabaster, AL. I haven't had the opportunity to do a lot of activities like this in my immediate community, so I'm really looking forward to it!

I just finished off a great month of partnership with the charitable organization called One Tough Kid ( Sales were high during the month of March, which is excellent, as I'm donating $1 of every book I sold last month to One Tough Kid. I will be continuing my relationship with them and looking forward to further opportunities to partner and help support their organization. A big THANK YOU to all those who purchased my books last month and helped support OTK.

From May to September, I will be working on writing the remaining two installments to my Breeder Cycle trilogy: Criminal and Clone. I would really like to have these two finished and ready for submission should my publishing house decide to move forward with publishing the entire trilogy.

In October, the final installment of The Gateway Chronicles, The Bones Whistle will be published, and I will also be giving birth to another baby - our fourth! So, big month there!

And last but not least, in December Breeder should be published, assuming my editors like what they are currently reading and give the green light to move ahead with that project. I'm confident with the story, though, in fact, I really love it! And early beta reader feedback has been very positive, so that's always a good sign.

Don't forget, you can always follow me on Facebook ( and/or Twitter ( for up-to-the-minute news and information! Or . . . at least up to the day. :)