Thursday, February 20, 2020

Blog Tour + Guest Post + Giveaway - The Sound of Stars by Alechia Dow

Find the tour schedule here.


The Sound of the Stars by Alechia Dow
Publisher: Inkyard Press
Release Date: February 25, 2020
Genre: Young Adult, Sci-Fi, Fantasy


Can a girl who risks her life for books and an alien who loves 

forbidden pop music work together to save humanity?

Two years ago, a misunderstanding between the leaders of Earth 

and the invading Ilori resulted in the deaths of one-third of the 

world’s population.

Seventeen-year-old Janelle “Ellie” Baker survives in an Ilori-

controlled center in New York City. Deemed dangerously volatile 

because of their initial reaction to the invasion, humanity’s 

emotional transgressions are now grounds for execution. All art, 

books and creative expression are illegal, but Ellie breaks the rules 

by keeping a secret library. When a book goes missing, Ellie is 

terrified that the Ilori will track it back to her and kill her.

Born in a lab, M0Rr1S (Morris) was raised to be emotionless. 

When he finds Ellie’s illegal library, he’s duty-bound to deliver her 

for execution. The trouble is, he finds himself drawn to human 

music and in desperate need of more. They’re both breaking the 

rules for love of art—and Ellie inspires the same feelings in him 

that music does.

Ellie’s—and humanity’s—fate rests in the hands of an alien she 

should fear. M0Rr1S has a lot of secrets, but also a potential 

solution—thousands of miles away. The two embark on a wild and 

dangerous road trip with a bag of books and their favorite albums, 

all the while making a story and a song of their own that just might 

save them both.

Book Links:

My Publishing Journey 


Hi everyone! I’m Alechia Dow, and I’m going to tell you my long and twisty journey to becoming a published author. 
When I was five years-old, I wrote my first story about a princess trapped inside a jar. A prince tried to save her, but failed, so she saved herself, him, and defeated an evil wizard. After, she lived with her cat in the woods. A few weeks later, I wrote about the princess and her cat, and sentient trees. My stories were nonsensical and illegible, but I remember feeling accomplished for having tried. 
Years later, I was featured in our town newspaper for having written an abstract poem that resonated with my teacher. It was the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever written, and became a family joke. Imagine having your aunt quoting your own lines back to you at Thanksgiving dinner and everyone laughing? Because that’s what happened. It put me off writing for years. 
Instead, I fell into books. Having been the only black kid in my school, I’d found the best way to survive was to read everything wherever I went. You couldn’t be lonely if you had a good book, right? I devoured mystery (I was particularly fond of Mary Higgins Clark), romantic comedies, horror (I checked out every R.L. Stine book in our library at least twice), science fiction, especially Octavia Butler, Philip K. Dick, and any Star Wars fiction I could get my hands on. I spent so much time at the local library that I got my first job there! Bonus, they didn’t charge me late fees, AND I got access to books before release date. It was a dream. 
It wasn’t until I went to college for pastry arts that I went back into writing for fun. Weirdly, I developed a bit of a following with my friends. They’d request new chapters of my rom-coms and sci-fi faster than I could write them. I did my concentration in food writing, became a food critic, a pastry chef…and still I wrote. I delved into fantasy, I read more than ever. I submitted my first story to small publishers, receiving really great feedback and affirming that I could actually write a story. 
Then life changed. My mom passed away a few days before I started grad school and I got a bit lost. Suddenly, my favorite pastime seemed foolish; I wasn’t talented enough, I’d never be able to pay off my student loans, I didn’t have the time to spend writing when I should be working to keep myself out of the poverty I was raised in. I gave up.

Eventually, I became a librarian, worked three jobs, and moved to New York City. I found myself again and felt on top of the world… until I fell in love with a German, and moved to Germany. The German state of Bavaria didn’t accept my master’s degree, and while I worked as a kindergarten teacher, it wasn’t for me. I went back to writing. It still wasn’t good, and worse, my confidence took a serious hit.

There was a temp job opening in NYC for my partner, and I tagged along, with our then two year-old. I worked in Brooklyn as a Children’s Librarian for nine months in 2016. During that time, I took online classes for comic book writing, and then a story popped into my brain. I wrote a 96k book over the course of six months. It was trash, but I didn’t know that. 
I submitted it to agents and got maybe three full requests out of fifty queries. Then I applied to Justina Ireland’s Writing in the Margins mentorship program. To my absolute surprise, I got in! Tamara Mataya became my mentor, and for the next four months, she taught me how to write. I’m not kidding. From sensory details to physical anchors, I owe so much to Tam, and because of her, I could write more books. Which I did. 
In June 2017, I wrote The Sound of Stars. I revised it for Pitch Wars, and didn’t get in. But then with the help of Erin Hahn, Tamara (again), and Laura Weymouth, I pitched it in PitMad on September 7th, 2017. By September 12th, I had offers. It was the best moment of my writing career; to be wanted, to feel like I finally had the right recipe for a story, to feel like I’d found a partner to help get my books out in the world.

The truth is though, when you’re querying, you think of agents like unicorns. Once you have one, you might think, “oh! I’m done now. I can focus on books.” And it’s just not the case. Agents aren’t unicorns, they’re human, and they are your partner, your story sounding board, your advocate. If you can’t talk to them, if you don’t feel like they understand you or your work, then it’s back to square one. 
 After six months, I was back at square one.

My second agent (who is incredible!!) sold The Sound of Stars to Inkyard Press, an imprint of HarperCollins! My editor, Tashya Wilson, is seriously amazing and a genius, and Inkyard has been an absolute dream to work with. While revising has been a lesson in learning to polish and find every loose end, I could not have asked for a better team in my corner. Team Inkyard!!

Since then, I had another shakeup with representation, and after nine excruciating months where I doubted everything, I found my agent match. I’ve never been more hopeful, never felt so accepted and supported, and fingers crossed, I’ll get to write more books.

Thank you for reading my long and rambling account of getting published. It’s been wild, but I know I’ve been lucky and I hope I can help others on this journey!

About the Author

Alechia Dow is a former pastry chef, food critic, culinary teacher,

and Youth Services librarian. When not writing about determined 

black girls (like herself), you can find her chasing her wild child, 

baking, or taking teeny adventures around Europe.

 Author Links:

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