Choosing your own Blog Hop

Today, I'm excited to have Eliza Tilton on the blog. You may remember her Choose Your Own Adventure blog hop tour in May. She's back today to talk about how she came up with the idea and what exactly went into such a huge undertaking.

Welcome, Eliza!

First, I’d like to thank Sarah for having me stop by AND for being part of the blog hop.

I got the idea for a Choose Your Own Adventure blog hop from an article written by Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi called CreativeBook Launches That Command Attention The article talks about what you can do to stand out. Every day there’s another blog tour or book release happening, if you want people to notice, do something different. These lovely ladies made it seem so simple.



For me, I sat and thought about what I like: video games and books. Then I sat, ate a cookie, and thought some more.

I always wanted to write a Choose Your Own Adventure novel. I LOVED them as a kid. They’re probably the reason I love RPG’s aka role playing games. But how could I take that and turn into a blog hop?



When I told my husband about my idea to do a CYOA blog hop, he thought it was genius. I wasn’t so sure. Writing a CYOA? Can I really do that?

In order for the hop to go smoothly I had to have a certain number of dedicated bloggers. Reaching out to my writer friends took guts. Some were critique partners and some were authors/writers/bloggers that I chatted with online. I drafted an email with all the details and asked them if they were interested.

In about two hours I had 16 yes’s.

I was floored. Sixteen might not sound like a lot, but it was to me. I knew I would need a few more, but I had enough to write the story and adjust if I needed.



I’m that girl who plays a video game and gets pissed when I have to play a boy character. I knew I had to make two different paths, which just made my job a lot harder.

Here’s what happened next.

·         Create a concept

·         Write bubble outline

·         Decide on how many different story branches I want

·         Connect the story branches from the girl and boy path that are the same

·         Start writing

·         Write one story branch at a time and go back

·         Realize the CYOA story has to makes sense and start world building

·         Draw a really big bubble outline with lots of arrows and numbers

·         Finish story branches and edit

·         Send to critique partners

·         Convince the husband to draw images to go with my story

·         Get crits back and edit again

·         Print it out and check every single path—I went through a lot of paper

·         Make a number outline and double check all story paths are working

·         Get artwork from husband and his students and edit in Photoshop

·         Contact all bloggers with an update

·         Create an excel sheet with the page numbers, blog hosts, their story paths and connecting blogs—insert all hyperlinks—and giveaways

Here’s a picture of the excel sheet:


·         Create individual posts for each blogger with their story, artwork, all links and my author and book info.

·         Remind all bloggers to schedule the post at the same time

·         Cross my fingers, say a prayer and drink a big glass of wine

·         Once all the posts are live, send each blogger an update with their story choice direct links

·         Send tons of thanks and virtual hugs

The blog hop was a success and everyone had a ton of fun. There was a point in the beginning when I didn’t think I could do it, but I ignored that voice of doubt and CONVINCED myself I could.

Now that the hop is over, I have it set to a page on my website. One of my friends says she still gets views on her post and it’s the most visited post on her blog.  
It doesn’t matter what your hop is about, make it fun and make it you. Don’t be afraid to get crazy and DON’T let that pesky self-doubt stop you.

And I’ll share another secret with you.

One of the characters I created strictly for the hop made an impression on me and now he’s in BROKEN FOREST Book 2.  Who would’ve thought!