Sunday, July 31, 2011

Quick Update for Glittering Ashes!

Hey everyone! Thanks for all the well wishes I got from people about my new YA paranormal romance Glittering Ashes. I'm really excited to see what will come from it.

It's available on Smashwords here.

And now it's available from Amazon here!

Tell everyone you know (because I am). Thanks again for all the support, and I'll be back tomorrow to blog properly!!

Here's the cover and blurb again (in case you missed it):

At seventeen, Roe Daniels didn’t need to believe in fairy tales, she knew they didn’t exist. But when Roe moves to Gaudium Falls to be with her aunt, she finds the elusive friend, a love triangle turned square, and the magic that she would have bet six bucks never existed.

Within a new town Roe doesn’t trust enough to call home, she’ll find a place she knows is too good to get used to and too perfect to trust, and a boy also too close to that description to fall for. She’ll survive the contact with the world that feels so foreign to her and the boy who is big enough to shake that world and her life to its core, or she’ll watch everything she’s just beginning to know and to love burn to glittering ashes at her feet.

Friday, July 29, 2011

I AM NOW (self) PUBLISHED: Glittering Ashes

Yes, bloggers, lurkers, causal passers by on the internet highways, I have officially clicked the publish buttons on Amazon, Smashwords, and PubIt!

I'm really excited about it. VERY "yelling over the internet in caps" excited about it. I just want people to read it and maybe even talk about it. I won't even say anything if that were to occur. I'd just sit back and giggle like a crazy.

Here's the blurb and cover art for my new book, Glittering Ashes:

At seventeen, Roe Daniels didn’t need to believe in fairy tales, she knew they didn’t exist. But when Roe moves to Gaudium Falls to be with her aunt, she finds the elusive friend, a love triangle turned square, and the magic that she would have bet six bucks never existed.

Within a new town Roe doesn’t trust enough to call home, she’ll find a place she knows is too good to get used to and too perfect to trust, and a boy also too close to that description to fall for. She’ll survive the contact with the world that feels so foreign to her and the boy who is big enough to shake that world and her life to its core, or she’ll watch everything she’s just beginning to know and to love burn to glittering ashes at her feet. 

AHH! Did I mention I was excited? Hopefully one (or lots more) of you will take a chance on me and give it a buy, and if you do, I'd love if you could review it. It would really mean a lot. I'm spreading the word by word of mouth, and I'm hoping you all will work your mouths too! (Weird. I know that sounded very weird, but the sentiment is real...)

Right now, it's available for purchase on Smashwords here. It'll be live on Amazon in the next 24-72 hours, or so they tell me. And PubIt! hates me, so we'll see when that one shows up. But if you did want a copy for your Nook, you can get that at Smashwords now. I also put together the paperback of the book, but I have to get the proof before that one goes live. I'm sure I'll tell y'all the second that it does. Or very shortly thereafter (I like that word). 

Thanks, everyone for reading this, and I hope you all check it out

For a song to write by, I want something happy. Hmmm...."Electric Boogie" by Marcia Griffiths. Raaandom, but I might be doing various forms of this tonight in celebration. Please top me by giving me a better celebration song. I want a track list full, so let me know below!


Wednesday, July 27, 2011

YA Girls Made of Awesome

Last week, I wrote a post about guys in YA (mostly) books that were just the bee's knees. Today, it's time for kick arse girls in YA (solely this time.) So here are 5 of my favorite heroines in YA. (Not in any particular order)

1.  Remy King in Hollowland by Amanda Hocking. She's take charge, no time for emotions (but still has them…), and complications ensue as she goes on a quest in a post-apocalyptic world. Just neat. I liked the whole book, and it's 99 cents. Take the plunge, people.

2. Rhine Ellery in Lauren DeStefano's Wither. Was it the best book ever ever ever? Not necessarily, but I give major points for different, and I liked her. Worth looking into, I'd say.

3. Rose Hathaway from The Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead. If you're going to have a top-notch guy (Dimitri, hello), you have to have a great girl to make the story work. Rose is great. She's strong, and she's believable.

4. Evie from Paranormalcy by Kiersten White. I really liked this book. I really liked Evie. I want to read the second one because the first was playful, and it makes the reader care about Evie. Not an easy feat.

5. Anna from Stephanie Perkin's Anna and the French Kiss. Sigh. I haven't heard anyone (literally) read this book and not like it. It's the perfect contemporary YA romance. It's realistic, and Anna's brain waves are similar to my own. Every time I wanted her to say or do something, she did it. How amazing is that for a reader? Pretty, I'd say.

So, if you haven't checked these out, please do. And if you have, please spill below about whether or not you thought they were super neato keen, because I did.

Now to leave you with a song to write by, "Goodbye" by My Darkest Days. Love it. Listened to this a million times. The album is great. They are great. AND I've seen them in concert twice, and I completely vouch for their awesomeness live. And how adorable is Sal (far right below)? Okay, I'll stop now…

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Tempo Tuesday Story and Note to All

I've decided to do another Tempo Tuesday. Because I like them, and it's Tuesday, and I like music. So here we go.

Remember, I got the songs by doing a shuffle, taking the first five songs that I know well from it, writing those down, and coming up with a loose plot from meshing what all of the songs offer.

Here are the songs. "So Cold (Acoustic)" by Breaking Benjamin. I much prefer the acoustic to the regular version. It's feels desolate. Lyrically beautiful. And I love how his voice seems to crack on the words in this version. Sigh.

"Make Me Feel" by Amanda Perez. Talks about how she knows this is love because of how it makes her feel.

"Abracadabra" by the Steve Miller Band. Fun song. Getting antsy looking at a girl dressed in leather and lace…and wanting to grab her. Still a fun song. Makes me want to do the twist. I only watched a sec of this video, and it's ridiculous. Enjoy.

"Face Down" Red Jump Suit Apparatus. Best band name, right? I just like this song. It's high energy, but it's about domestic abuse (physical).

"Let's Get Married" by Jagged Edge. Self-explanatory. Ironically serves for a happy ending. I swear I feel like my iPod is cheating sometimes.

Let's see what we can do…

James wakes up every day feeling haunted. Every room he enters automatically goes down 15 degrees. He can see his breath when he talks, but only when he's alone. So he knows, after years of dealing with this, that he's never really alone, and whatever is with him is causing the temperature to dip.

One night, James grows frustrated and decides if he's going to be haunted, he should at least make the ghost useful. He asks it to show itself, tell him how it'll all end and to help him get Amanda to be with him.

The ghost shimmers to life, and she's beautiful. Her name is Ellisa, and she talks to him. He's mesmerized, and she tells him she's more than just a ghost. But she can't explain what else she is in his terms. She also agrees to tell him and help him as she can because James is the only one that has made her feel something.

Out of nowhere, Amanda appears, or a sluttier version of her. James is frightened, and the new Amanda really likes him. REALLY likes him and comes on strong. But this Amanda also tells him she can't be with him until he helps her get rid of the man who's been hurting her, her current boyfriend Ken.

James, with the help of his "ghost" Ellisa, figure out a plan to help Amanda with Ken, and it works. Amanda is free from abuse and is free to be with James. They marry, but all James feels is that he wishes he could have been with Ellisa.

Yeaaah. What'd you all think? I think eh, but it's okay I suppose. I'd love to see someone else do this challenge some Tuesday. Let me know if you up for it. (and let me read it because I would like that lol).

Has anyone ever used something like this to move their plot along? Or to make a plot in the first place? I'd be interested to know below.

And I have also given you several songs to write by :)

OH, and look out for a "My book is now available" announcement very soon. SO EXCITED!!! (yay)

Monday, July 25, 2011

Me Then; Read Now

Back in high school, I was different. I liked black. I loved black. I wanted to be edgy. I dreamed of drinking tea, mug steaming, as I contemplated my next novel of epic proportions.

I thought Hot Topic was the bee's knees.

I said that things "rocked my socks" as a form of approval.

I broke into song and semi-dance often, uncontrollably even, because what's the point of being borderline Goth, if you can't also be a walking contradiction?

I was conflicted. I was angsty. I was a teen. (I want lightning to strike at this moment, or an 80s anthem to play, which may or may not have anything to do with me watching Some Kind of Wonderful before the sun came up today).

But the point of this reflection is that I changed. I still have friends from high school. They're the main friends that I have, and when I came back from running off to school in the mountains, I:

Ditched the black (mostly).

Grabbed polos.

Rocked fake pearls (<3 them…wore them Saturday).

Basically, I shocked them something ridiculous.

And this got me thinking about what type of heroine I like to read about when I read YA. Do I like edgy and dark and Goth because I was all of that in high school (or tried to be)? Or do I like preppy because that did it for me after high school?

Well, the answer is, you don't have to read who you are or who you were, and neither do I. The kind of girl I like reading is the girl who is snarky, NOT CLUELESS, and has a weird, if not sarcastic, sense of humor. And while I may share some similarities to that, the girl doesn't need to be like me for me to like the story.

What about you? Do you like to read for like-minded MCs or do you want to read about your opposite? OR, maybe you want to read about the person you think you are but for some reason aren't (I've done that one)? Let me know below.

Now I'll leave you with a song to write by, "Changes" by 3 Doors Down. Heart it. 

Friday, July 22, 2011

Me: Updated.

Today, I'm writing a good old-fashioned update about myself, book wise and t.v. wise.

I have finished the first third of my outline for my next book (WOOHOO). I'm digging it. It feels right.

I have finished everything I needed to do to get the self-publishing party started. I'm just waiting on one last thing beyond my control to push the final buttons. That does mean that I have a cover, but until the last thing happens, I'm going to be making other covers to see which one will actually be used. It's actually kind of fun.

I have watched the first four episodes of Pretty Little Liars, season 1, in case you were wondering.

I am all caught up on Hell's Kitchen and Master Chef.

AND, I am ecstatic to watch Platinum Hit tonight or tomorrow. Nick (not the best picture, but that's irrelevant). That's should be all I have to say. He's amazing. Seriously. Google that show and watch from the beginning--best decision you'll make today. Writers, I'm especially talking to you, but also referring to how all of humanity should be tuned in to this show.

P.S. I hate the Shark Tank comes on the same time as Platinum Hit. We'll see who wins since I have no DVR, and Platinum Hit is on demand. Who knows?

Now to leave you with a song to write by, "Animal" by Sky Ferreira. One of my favorite songs, and my favorite song by her, though I do <3 another one that I'm sure I'll mention later. So beautiful. 

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Come Hither Books

What makes you want to read a book, particularly a YA book? For me it comes down to three factors:

The premise has to be original (and I like a hint of romance, if not full out). It has to have something different, that, at least at first glance, I haven't felt like I've read before. If it doesn't ring a familiar bell, I'll give the first few pages a shot.

Recommendations from others. I read on the Kindleboards * recently that someone said he or she will "give in" to reading a book if they keep hearing about it. If everywhere they turn, they see or hear something about it, they give the book the benefit of the doubt, and they try it out. I am, to an extent, the same way. If I hear something is amazing like whoa, I'll be curious enough to pick it up at least. (and blog recommendations are always welcome and googled for awesomeness)

Cover. I am a cover sucker. If the cover is good, I'm picking it up. If the cover is okay, but it at least has a little something that made me pause, I'll pick it up to look at it more. BUT, if the cover is UGH awful, I don't pick it up. I guess I figure if the story could pertain to a cover that gawsh darn awful, it might not be the best book---but I have been proven wrong, so this isn't the end all of rules.

What makes you pick up a book? One of my three? All of them? None of them? Let me know below.

Now to leave you with a song to write by, "The Fear" by Lily Allen. It's snarky and catchy. 

*BTW, I'm "Writtled" on Kindleboards as well. If you're on there, say hi! :)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Pretty Little Liars and Meanie Little Peoples

So originally for this post, I was going to talk about Cross-genres in YA. Or, rather, the debate on whether or not it's okay to cross genres in YA, or if you should resist the temptation to experiment like that until after you become more established as an author.

But then I watched Pretty Little Liars, Season 1, Episode 1 yesterday, and I have some things to rant about say.

My bestie kept telling me since the show started that's it made of amazing, and fairy dust, and all the drama I crave, but I wouldn't bite. I had started reading the books before...well, the first one...for fifty pages, and it wasn't bad, but I had to return it before I could continue it. If I hadn't even read one book, I thought maybe I should give the books a chance before the t.v. show.

BUT, I have read LOTS of people/bloggers talk about how they never read the books and have no desire to, but they heart the show in a big way. So, having a little downtime yesterday, I looked up the first episode and gave it a whirl.

Here's where the rant comes in. As it was loading, I scrolled through the comments to see people UBER excited about the show, yada yada. Then I read something my eyes couldn't unread. Someone spoiled the whole whodunnit of the show in one comment. And people proceeded to lose their S in a big way.

The rest of the comments were "You stupid so-and-so, this was my first time watching this and you, the blah-blah-blah that you are, had to ruin it, you ahem-er" [Note, this amalgamation of quotes was edited to protect the angry and the innocent readers of this blog].

People were justifiably angry. I was justifiably angry.

This is a cautionary tale for those of the world with big mouths and little, fragmented brains: Don't spoil things for other people. They will hate you for it. And call you names. And wish you evil if you do so.

And it'll make me pissy.

I'm still going to watch the show, because, eh, why not? Maybe I'll become obsessive like everyone else (that's the goal...I love liking something that much). But for future reference, spoilers are Meanie Little Peoples that I don't care for in the tiniest bleeping bit.

Now to leave you with a song to write by that I love with most of my heart, "Momentum" by The Hush Sound. The verses? I am completely in FULL love with them. Listen. Like. Love.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Guys Worth Reading About: Recommendations

I love it when people give me new book recommendations (even though my bookshelves hate me for it, and my fiance is sick of piling them up in some resemblance of order). So today, I decided to give you all a few, and I gave you some that include what I like most about reading books really, great romance because of great guys. Here's 5 literary heart-throbs for you all to enjoy (and for my dude readers, I'll have a sweet chick version to come). So, here goes something: (Not necessarily listed in order of awesomeness)

1. Beck from Jana Oliver's The Demon Trapper's Daughter. AH! I really liked him, and this book. It's different, and even though I hadn’t heard anything about it before reading, I'm really glad I took the plunge. Completely worth it.

2. Finn Holmes from Amanda Hocking's Switched. Sigh. I really liked him. Go. Read. It's a good series, as far as they go (but I think I love Hollowland more, just by the way...also btw, Hollowland is $0.99.)

3. Dimitri Belikov from Richelle Mead's Vampire Academy series. I seriously heart this guy, but I still haven't read the last two books in the series (though I do own them), mainly because of cold feet and time restraints. If you've read the series, I'm sure you can guess about the why behind the cold feet.

4. Bill and Eric from the Sookie Stackhouse series by Charlaine Harris (I linked to the first book), although again I'm not vouching for the full series here. I am, however, FULLY vouching for the first four in the series, as I loved them whole-heartedly. I do own other books in the series beyond those four, and I hear they're quite good, but things happened in the series to make me less interested than I was before. I have to work on finishing them though since apparently they've gotten amazing again as of late.

5. Drake from the Aisling Grey series by Katie MacAlister. I haven’t read these books in a while, but I remember liking Drake and reading the first 3 books in a rapid fire succession. Also, I really like ImproperEnglish by her, if you all are looking for a contemporary romance. 

Have you read these? If so, did you like these guys? Let me know why or why not in the comments below!

Now to leave you with a song to write by, "The Difference" by Matchbox 20. I have liked this song ever since I went on a road trip to one of the most beautiful places on earth, and I have just learned the title of it…yay for being on the ball. 

P.S. For those of you that are interested (please be interested?) I'm working quite furiously on my soon-to-be-released ebook, and I'm way excited about it. I announced that I'm releasing it soon here, and it should be up VERY VERY (very) soon. I'll let you know when it is available. (It's a YA paranormal/fairy tale-ish/ quirky romance of epic werewolves, vamps, or angels present.)

Monday, July 18, 2011

Dream Harvesting: A How To

I've talked a lot on here about how I take a lot of my book ideas straight from dreamland. The dreams I have are vivid, and they always leave a lingering impression on me, even if I can't remember any of the specifics.

I'm sure some of you out there have been like me and have had a wonderful dream only to have it leave your mind by the time you try to write it down. Well, I wanted to use today's blog post to talk about some tips on how to get your dreams to paper so that you can use all that great material in your own writing.

1. If you want to make your dreams echo something you're currently working on--or, better yet, if you have a vague idea about what you want to write about but you know you need to explore it more, try concentrated thinking before you fall asleep. For the last 20 minutes or so before you officially conk out, try to solely think about the element you want to include in your book or your current WIP. This will make your dreams more likely to be in some way or another focused on what you'd like.

2. When you first wake up, use the tried and true method of having paper and a pen IMMEDIATELY available to you by your bedside. This is extremely important because dreams are fleeting, and your brain, from the moment you wake up, is practically re-writing what you remember of the dream you just had. That's not too horrible, but regardless of how much you self-edit your dream subconsciously, the most important part is to write EVERYTHING down that you can remember. Get these things down (listed in order of importance):
            a. Actions: Who did what and why
            b. Setting: this will probably be the most original part of your dream, and can be extremely helpful to you in your writing process.
            c. Feelings/vibe: make yourself describe the mood of your dream. This may help jar your memories of a and b.

3. Process your notes. What you've just written down may seem like gibberish when you read it over. In this step, fill in the gaps you've just made, elaborate on what you remember, and embellish what you've already written. That's the fun of the dream harvest process. The dream is the starting point. Keep your dream notes in tact and write off of them in this step, brainstorming real story lines from the little bits and pieces you've remembered. Where can you take these actions, settings, and vibes with a narrative? What cool ideas would this spark?

This is pretty much exactly my process when I conduct my own dream harvest. Do you do something similar/completely different? Let me know what works for you in the comments, and if you haven't tried it, I am the first to say that I think that you should!

Now to leave you with a song to write by, "Save You" by Kelly Clarkson. So pretty. It's dark and slow, and one of my favorites by her. 

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Tempo Tuesday Story Time

Today I’ve decided to completely give myself over to the muse that is music and do a Tempo Tuesday song list for us all to write by (I’m doing 5 songs, because…as I’ve said in the past, odd numbers make everything better for me.)

  1. “Through Glass” by Stone Sour. I was OBSESSED with this song when it came out. I think I know it forwards and backwards and any in any other applicable angle. Mood: Quietly controlled confusion; asylum music

  1. “I’m Not Going To Teach Your Boyfriend How To Dance With You” by Black Kids. Mood: Upbeat Upset

  1. Paramore’s Cover of Kings of Leon’s “Use Somebody” Mood: searching, wanting to be wanted

  1. “Killing Me Softly” by The Fugees. I love literally any rendition of this song. Literally. Mood: Quiet Upset, desperation, love fear

  1. “Dancing With Tears in My Eyes” by Kesha. Mood: Angst, self-blame

Now to turn these into a short storyline, in the order in which I’ve listed them. (Note: I came up with the song list before I thought about making it into a narrative. It wouldn’t have been fun if the songs were picked/orchestrated to be a story, don’t you agree?)

Girl A in an asylum, unsure of why she’s there, falls in love with a Girl B. But Girl B loves Boy who befriends Girl A. Boy needs Girl A’s help to woo Girl B. Girl A refuses, but after a time, she just wants to be needed by anyone so she agrees to help Boy, if only to see Girl B happy. It’s killing her inside to see it or even hear about it, but she knows it’s her own fault for helping, so she’ll teach Boy how to get Girl B, even if she can’t see through the tears in her eyes to do it.

What do you all think? I’d love to see other people have a list and make a narrative out of it. I think I’ll keep Tempo Tuesday in mind to be a regular on this blog.  So here are the (self-explanatory) rules if you want to carry on Tempo Tuesday:

  1. Shuffle around on your music player and come up with a list of five songs
  2. List a mood or marker for each song just in case the reader hasn’t heard it before or doesn’t have time to listen to the video
  3. Make up a story line using your songs as plot point inspiration.

Link to your own Tempo Tuesday in the comments. I’d love to read them!

P.S. I <3ed the comments left on yesterday's post. Everyone left really great tips on how to pace yourself when trying to reach writing goals. Very helpful stuff. Thanks y'all!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Tough Love: Writer's Edition

 A few weeks ago, the topic of jealous writers was floating around the internet as a debate. It came around the time John Locke became the first self-published author in the Amazon's Million ebook club (a list for people who have sold over a million books on Amazon). People were excited for him, or they said horrible things about him, spurring others to write posts about how you shouldn’t be jealous of others’ successes; you should be more interested in making your own.

I also tweeted things to that effect around this time, but I hadn’t listened to what I was preaching really. Not exactly.

I don’t get jealous when I hear about writers having amazing success; I get jealous when I read about prolific writers. The ones with 13 books under their belts and counting. The big names who write what seems like several books a month, the smaller names that actually do write several books a month. I am constantly in awe of these people.

Am I jealous because they have more ideas than me? No. I have a list of book ideas, a lot of which are actually fleshed out story lines. But the difference between them and me is that they’re writing theirs into stories, and I’m writing this, whining that they have more books down on paper than I do.

Well, it’s time for some tough love for me (and anyone who is in my shoes, either fully or tip-toe in). The people who are writing those books constantly are doing such because they are writing. Writing about writing, as much as I seem to enjoy it, does not a fiction writer make. It makes me a commentator. Not a writer. And I want to be a writer.

So here’s what I am leaving you with: If you want to be a writer, write. If you want to write a lot, write a lot. Thinking about writing, dreaming about writing, staring off into the abyss and wondering about your writing future all equal the same thing in the actual writing world-->nothing. You can’t say you’ve done it if you’ve only thought about it.

And again, I am not yelling at you (whoever you are), I’m yelling at me. Because I’ve earned it. 

Anyone in my shoes? Let me know in the comments below or by email...I'd like to feel like I'm not the only slacker. 

Now to leave you with a song to write by, “The House That Built Me” by Miranda Lambert. It’s mainstream, and apparently was popular when it came out, but I only got into it recently, and I love the lyrics and flow.


Thursday, July 7, 2011

Stolen by Lucy Christopher, A Review

My first book review. My little blog is really growing up. If anyone out there likes it, maybe I’ll give it a whirl again. So, do let me know, won’t you?

All ratings are given out of a total of 5. This review is my opinion, and you should, as always, use your own discretion when reading it (AND I encourage you to read everything for yourself to see if you agree with me).

Stolen by Lucy Christopher


Christopher, Lucy. Stolen. New York: Scholastic, 2010.
Source: Checked out from library
For summary, please click picture above that will take you to the Amazon site. Thanks!

Cover ****

I love simplistic covers. They capture my attention more. I am always intrigued by a cover that can show so little but still make you want to pick it up. That’s definitely what happened with this cover. I am a butterfly person from way back, so I immediately felt drawn to it. The title page for this book is especially beautiful. It’s a two page spread of the title written in a similar font.

Plot: ***1/2

The premise for this book gets major points for being original. You know from the inside flap that the MC Gemma is going to be drugged by Ty and “stolen,” taken somewhere she isn’t familiar with. Not knowing what will actually happen to Gemma and between she and Ty is a major motivator to finish the book, which I did in a day and a half.

Style: ****

Christopher writes beautiful. The way she words things is especially well-written, but it isn’t so flowery that it brings you out of the story. Christopher lets Gemma’s words be believable yet poetic, and as a writer, I really appreciate that. However, there is one element that made the book interesting but was hard for me to get past when beginning the book, she refers to Ty as you, the reader. When Ty talks to Gemma, it would be said like “you talk to me saying,…” If that annoys you, I want to tell you I think it was worth the read. So stick through it.

Characters: ****1/2

Believability is huge with me. If I can’t think the MC or the MMC could be a real person, the book will fail for me. This book didn’t. I believed Gemma, and Ty, as confusing as he could be, was intriguing. He showed emotion, was hard to completely peg down, and he kept you flipping the pages, wanting to know what was next.

Stay Power: *****

When I finished this book, I wanted to give it a 3 1/2, but as I tried to go to sleep last night, I couldn’t. I kept thinking about Gemma and Ty, playing scenes over and over in my head. I don’t see them going anywhere soon, and the stars kept climbing as I kept noodling. This book has major staying power. You will be thinking about it one way or another after you finish it.

Overall, I’d say this book was a ****1/2 total. It was interesting; it kept my attention; I always wanted to know what happened; it had a beautiful cover; and it stuck with me even after I shut the book. I wouldn’t give it a complete 5 star because I reserve that for my all time favorites, but this is more than good, and I more than liked it.

If you’ve read it, what did you think about it, and if you want to read it, shout it out here!

Now to leave you with a song to write by, “Stab My Back” by The All-American Rejects

*I do not own this picture, or anything associated with this book. This image was taken from Amazon and clicking this picture will take you to the Amazon page where it was found. There, you can purchase this book (And I hope you do).

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Why YA?

Why do I love YA?

I know that when I started reading YA, I read it because it was about the age group older than me. From what I’ve seen, that’s normally the kind of reading people gravitate to—they want to read about the age group they’re about to head into (or at least, that was how it was for me.) I never was into middle grade literature. I wanted to read about angsty 16 year olds when I was 12-13. I wanted to see my future, and I felt no need to see what people my own age were doing—in books that is.

Now, my answer to this question obviously has changed. I’m older than a teen. I’m older than the average YA protagonist by 4-5 years, give or take 2-3. Technically, I should be reading New Adult and beyond to see what I should be looking forward to (or what I should be doing now). But I’m not (most of the time). I am YA, all the way. Ha.

I love YA now because:

I can read about a protagonist that doesn’t have to worry about bills, life, marriage (some books excluded). Life is open in front of these protagonists, and they can shape their lives with tragedy, misadventures, romance, magic, or whatever they feel like.

Yes, there are parents involved, but like it’s been discussed in other YA lit circles, the parents in YA today are often M.I.A. So that can be worked around…

Everything feels magical about that time of your life, even if yours was less than fantastic. You have your first kiss. First dance. First trip into the under magic world. You know, all of the biggies. Why not read about how others had their firsts? I eat that stuff up.

Because the protagonist doesn’t have bills, children, etc, they can have adventures. They can be as mature or as immature as the author wants them to be. Wherever they are on the maturity scale is believable.

Lastly, (and even though all of my points semi-overlap with each other), this point speaks to why certain people have been bashing YA—the sheer theatrics that authors can put that age group through. Horrible things can happen, and often do, but I don’t think that’s a bad thing. I think it’s an amazing thing. YA now can show teens any situation, literally. And nothing is sugarcoated. The genre runs the gamut from innocent/sheltered to buck wild crazy, with games to the death, mental disorders, kidnapping, and magic in between. Whatever a teen/person of a particular age wants to read, chances are, nowadays someone is writing it. OR they can write they’re own and publish it themselves (like moi, very VERY soon).

It’s an amazing time to read YA, and I will continue to spend too much money and fill my arms too full from the library YA section.

Psst, send any good YA recommendations my way please. Anything that kept you up reading, I want to hear about in the comments, or by email. :)

Now to leave you with a song to write by, “My Heart Is the Worst Kind of Weapon (acoustic)” by Fall Out Boy. Love it. 

Friday, July 1, 2011

Writtle Me This: A Survey

I wanted to do an interview of sorts. I've read some good ones lately. So here's some questions I'll ask myself, and I'd love y'all to write your own answers in the comments :)

When did you start writing?

Um...we had a lot of assemblies in my school. One a week actually, and I entertained myself with writing during these assemblies to keep myself busy. I kept all the snippets in this one book, and I recently found that book. Lol. Good times, lemme tell you. Writing kept my friends and I entertained then, and it gave me a passion to daydream story lines from then on.

What is your favorite genre to read?

I am a YA junkie. I fell in love with reading when I was 11 in the YA section. The section was slim pickin's compared to what is available now. (I would have killed for the selection we have now back then). But, lately I've also been into non-fiction too. Makes me feel like I'm learning something (without tuition rates).

What is your favorite genre to write?

I would say YA, but really, I have interest in doing New Adult as well as YA in the future. I don't really see me branching out of that age group (from 13 to 25) with both male and female protagonists. And more specifically than that, I know I'll always have romance in whatever I write. I'm a sucker for romantic drama/tension.

What is your favorite TV show? Does it echo what you like to read?

I love reality TV show competitions. Right now, I love Platinum Hits, Master Chef, The Voice. Platinum Hits makes me want to learn guitar and grab a notebook and write longhand.

I wouldn't say it echoes what I like to read really. Except for the Hunger Games series, I haven't had much interest in reading about competitions, BUT, there is a competition of sorts in my upcoming YA self-published novel. (woot)

Does music influence your writing? Do you listen to music while you write?

Yes to the first and no to the second. I love listening to music before I write. Hearing about how creative people can be makes me SO excited to be creative myself. So before I write, I love to have a listening session.

I can't listen to music when I write though. Hearing other people's words in my head hinder me from creating my own. Shrug, I won't count it out though in the future.

Just to clear things up, I always end with a song to write by, which may not make sense when you hear I don't write to music, but these are songs I use to get in the mood to write scenes. They're my warm-up jams.

Now to leave you with another song to write by, “I'm Not the Enemy” by Lina. I used to like this song more, but it's still a nice mellow song.