Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Guest Post: J.S. Council

Today I'd like to welcome J.S. Council to Pure Jonel.
Let's see what she has to say.

Guest Post: Book Reviewing and Writing by J. S. Council

I’d like to say that I was born a critic. It is said that, when I was a baby, I cried when my mother dressed me in pink, I refused to eat food that I thought tasted bad, and once, I even told a man in the checkout line that he smelled. Yeah, I think it’s safe to say that I had no problem speaking my mind. I may have a bit more of a filter nowadays, but the honesty hasn’t diminished. When I started writing book reviews in my free time, the most important advice I was given was, “Just be honest.” I could do that.

I have been excited about writing for as long as I can remember. So excited that I graduated college with a BFA in Creative Writing – Fiction. Reviewing the works of my classmates was an important part of the writing curriculum. The teacher would spend an entire class lesson teaching us the correct way to write a critique. Then they would have us write reviews of each other’s work for our home assignments. As a first year student, I wondered, what the heck does knowing how to write a good review have to do with writing a good story? I have been a Book Reviewer for Read 2 Review for about a year and a half now and I just finished the first round of editing for the second novel in my series, Airion. I can say now with a degree of confidence that the two walk hand in hand quite often.

Admittedly, I was quite a bad editor of my own work when I first began writing. Not only did my eyes gracefully glance over the spelling errors and grammar mistakes, I didn’t know what to look for in terms of overall improvement. Embarrassingly, the plot, settings, and character developments were barely touched during my editing processes. The review for my first novel was pretty brutal, not in terms of the story or the lack of imagination that kept the reader interested, but the version of the novel that the reviewer received, was not the final edit. Nevertheless, it was close enough to the final edit that it should have been much cleaner than it was. I got the message. No one cares for a good story if the writing isn’t clean. It was a lesson well learned.

It wasn’t until six months after I started writing for Read 2 Review that I realized that my own writing started to change. When I got ready to edit a completed piece of my own, I stopped thinking like the author of the piece and started thinking like a book reviewer. I followed the advice of Stephen King in his book, On writing. After finishing a piece, I let it ‘rest’ for no less than a month before I allowed myself to look at it again. King suggests even two or three months, but sometimes I get impatient. The time of rest allows you to come back to the piece and look at it with an objective eye. For me, after not looking at a piece for an extended amount of time, I find it much easier to edit my piece as if I were reviewing it, looking at, not just the technical errors, but the over all flow. Using my experience as a Book Reviewer, I’ve learned the importance of editing my work as if it wasn’t me who wrote it.

About the Author:

“Although I didn’t fully commit to making writing my life’s work until my sophomore year of college, I have always been a writer at heart. I was the only student in class to get excited about school papers, even asking to write a few for extra credit on occasion. I graduated from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington with a degree in Creative Writing – Fiction. After graduating, I moved to Japan where I wrote most of my debut novel, Airion: Return to Zire and all of my second novel Airion: Light and Dawn – the first two of a four book series. Japan was a peaceful place to just sit and write, but life in Japan was also filled with adventure. However much I loved it there, I had to return home to do what I love most. Write.”

Connect with the Author Online:

A bit about her novel:

Title: Airion: Return To Zire
Author: J.S. Council
Series: Airion Series
Genre: Young Adult Epic Fantasy
Publisher: Self Published
Formats Available: Paperback, Ebook (HTML, Kindle, Epub, PDF, RTF, LRF, Palm Doc, Plain Text (download), Plain Text (View)


Aside from his outward appearance, Kobi is a normal thirteen-year-old boy. Living with his mother, his father, and his identical twin brother, Raili, with whom he spends most days at the cove watching dolphins and whales feed, he is happy with his life just the way it is. But his fourteenth birthday is coming and Kobi has no idea how much his life is about to change.

When Raili is pulled through a puddle in the floor of their second floor bedroom by a monster armed with poisonous, spiked tentacles, Kobi goes in after him. What he finds isn’t Raili, but a new world all together, buried beneath the ocean. With a bounty on his head that has been there since he and Raili’s birth, Kobi will have to learn to fight or die before he can be reunited with Raili again. Everything he knew to be true was a lie.

People he loved and trusted are not who they seem. He isn’t the normal boy he thought himself to be. A transformation is coming. Raili is gone. Blood is shed. Traitors lurk, waiting for their chance. War is inevitable. The fate of the world of Airion rests in his hands. The Wiseone speaks. Failure is certain.

Book Links:



  1. Thank you so much for hosting me!! It was an honor being featured on your site!