Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Slackerness and Books We Just Can't Get Into

So I have decided I am the world's worst blogger. Really. I own that title. What self-respecting author sucks as bad as I do? I haven't been idle. Just not blogging. I have written a book since my last post. A historical YA romance set in a gold boomtown. I love the story. Hopefully one day soon I can query it! I will be better. I promise.

Now. What are some of the books you've started but just can't get into. No matter how much you want to? You can say mine. I won't cry. Too much.

For me, and the inspiration for this post, it is The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern.  Three times I have tried. And failed. It really bums me out too because I have heard a ton of good things about it.

Sadly I think a lot of it has to do with the Third Person Present Tense. I'm a fan of present tense. I use it a lot in my own writing but always in first person. I've never read a book like this before. Hard for some reason.

I will keep trying though!
So tell me, any books you had issues with? Despite wanting to read them?

Monday, January 27, 2014

YA - Book to Movie

A coworker and I were talking about this today and it got me thinking...which is better?

The evidence I've seen all points to the books being better. I hate walking into a movie based on a book I love, one I laughed and cried with. Granted, maybe my expectations were too high, but mostly I end up disappointed! There are plenty of examples lately. Seems every popular Young Adult book series is being adapted to the big screen. Like the YA boom, it all started with one silly story and a sparkling vampire.


I can't talk about this movie/book. I go off on rants and tangents that are not productive. Let's just say however much I dislike both, the movies stuck VERY close to the books. And I'm sure we can all agree the quality of the movies improved over the four films.

Another point, why do they have to have such cheesy music, especially during kissing scenes?

Don't get me wrong. Huge YA fan here. It's what I write! Just think the material deserves better attention from directors and producers.

Case in point...City of Bones, the Mortal Instruments. The movie. This has been one of my favorite YA series, ever. It takes paranormal and tweaks it just enough to keep it fresh. Great characters, awesome world building, and a smart-assed boy. Then they made a movie. I was so excited about this one. I loved the film. I hated the film. Clary and Jace were great. The guy who played Valentine is one of my favorite actors so I'm biased in that area. Essentially, they did a decent job. Interesting special effects. Until the kissing scene. Enter sappy song and just over cheesiness. Even now, thinking back, I'm not entirely sure what exactly went wrong with the movie, It just failed to translate.

Now we can look forward to Divergent and Vampire Academy.

Of the two, only one actually looks good. Divergent.

Vampire Academy, and especially it's offspring, Bloodlines, are my second favorite series. But OMG ( I say that on purpose ) they are turning it into Mean Girls meets a dozen other stupid high school movies. The girls in the books are never that stupid and giggly. The more I hear about it, the more I'm certain I won't see it. I can't look past certain things and infusing too much humor and angst-y jokes are unforgivable!

I guess the point of my mini rant is two-fold. First, movie makers are targeting the biggest money spenders out there right now...teenage and collage age girls. They buy the books and they'll see the movies in droves. Only now they're learning the material isn't always there. So how hard is it to give us what we want? (Note: I am not either teen or college aged). Still, the tools are there. Peter Jackson can take something as complex as the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings and make amazing movies, closely following the books. How can we not bring to the screen a decent paranormal romance?

Second, as an author, I'd be so worried about letting down my readers. I know what it feels like to walk in to an anticipated movie and walk out disappointed. Like me and City of Bones.

Beautiful Creatures! Now that one was okay. It kept its dark feel and didn't delve into the silly side of being directed at younger audiences. Yet it didn't do as well in the box office. Strange.

Of course, the biggest success story, in my opinion, is The Hunger Games. Not so much the first movie, but it's getting better with the second installment, Catching Fire. From what I remember, they've followed the books very closely and have lost NOTHING. I even forgot Gale wasn't around much in the second book. Maybe I just liked him having more screen time ;)

So what does the future hold? Will we get a second Mortal Instruments movie? I hear it's possible but with all new director and maybe cast. What about Beautiful Creatures? Vampire Academy? Not so sure. Divergent? I sure as heck hope so. It's different enough to stand out, much like the Hunger Games there is more at stake to the story than romance.

And what's next? Any series you'd like to see brought to life? I'd love to see Across the Universe by Beth Revis or Under the Never Sky (my new favorite book!!!) Wait. Actually I think Under the Never Sky is being developed into a movie. So maybe I won't give up just yet.

This may come off as a mini vent or a series of short movie reviews, but it's something to think about. Is this the new trend? Did Twilight start this one too? Is it going to continue? I'm reserving my judgment. I'll skip Vampire Academy, remember the books fondly, but I will see Divergent. Let's hope it's worth it!

Monday, December 9, 2013

A Few of my Favorite Things

A list of my favorite things, in honor of the holidays and the song I can’t seem to get out of my head right now!

~ romantic comedy

First question and it’s a hard one! Of all time? I’d have to say Sixteen Candles. John Hughes at his best. We all had those seemingly unattainable crushes in high school so this one just hits home. It may show my age but it’s a timeless classic!

~ national park

Easy. Yellowstone National Park. I live an hour from both the north and the west entrances. It’s beautiful and eerie. No matter how many times I go, I still find something new, some new part to explore. Of course I try to avoid it when it’s high tourist season…

~ type of weather

I like sun, of course, but I LOVE rainy, dreary days. The kind that make you want to curl up on the couch with a good book or a movie.

~ foreign accent

Scottish or Irish for sure. Gerard Butler can talk to me all day…sigh

~ winter olympic sport


~ part of your love interest's body

I love nice, ropey, muscled forearms. Especially if they are tattooed!

~ breakfast cereal

Cocoa Puffs and Captain Crunch Berries. I’m still a kid when it comes to cereal

~ political figure

Does the Dali Lama count? Sure why not. The Dali Lama for sure!

~ magazine/periodical

National Geographic. I have stacks of them in my house. Never gets old looking at their photos.

~ toy from childhood

Barbie. Had some epic Barbie play times with my sister.

~ tattoo that you have

My fleur de lis. It’s on the top of my right wrist and has a skull in the middle. LOVE it, the artist did an amazing job. Now I have the itch…

~ pie

Banana cream!

~ day of the year

Christmas and opening day of football season

~ genre of music

Always a rock girl at heart!

~ flower

Orchid. I have expensive taste.

~ movie musical

Rock of Ages…amazing music

~ screen kiss

The kiss at the end of Pride and Prejudice (the version with Kiera Knightenly).

~ curse word or phrase to say

Probably best not to say it here!

~ musical 'genius'

Ville Valo – Lead singer for the Finnish band HIM – his lyrical genius just gets me every time. That man has a way with words.

~ 'battle scene' from a movie

The one outside Minas Tirath (spelling?) in The Return of the King, Lord of the Rings. EPIC!

~ music to get your groove on


~ thing about your family

That I can consider them some of my best friends

~ way to travel

Plane, because it’s quicker but nothing beats a good road trip!

~ cause

Humanitarian work

~ candy bar

Not a big candy bar person…I guess maybe a Baby Ruth or Milky Way

~ thing about your work

Day job at a hotel – the people and interacting with them

Writing – being able to create my own worlds and rules

~ horror movie

Mama! Still have a hard time watching that one all the way through!

~ sport to play

Football is fun, without the tackling. Volleyball. Channel Surfing haha

~ band to see live

Godsmack! And surprisingly, Nickelback

~ video game


Saturday, November 16, 2013

Why mermaids? Why fantasy?

Mermaids and fantasy often go hand in hand. One can’t exist without the other. As much as the Discovery Channel may try to convince us otherwise, mermaids are creatures of legend, of myth, as captivating and mystifying as the waters they call home. Before writing this blog post, I struggled to remember where the idea for Into the Deep even came from. The Little Mermaid is one of my favorite Disney movies, always has been, but like so many of those stories, Ariel’s motivations were all rooted in romance, true love. I didn’t want to do anything like that. I wanted a true coming of age story, a glimpse at a girl who has a legitimate reason to fear the sea and to experience the realization that it can make her whole again. Of course there’s a boy, as well as complications. He hates humans, despises what they’ve done to the ocean.

That’s another subject I wanted to bring to the surface…no pun intended…humankind’s constant, uncaring neglect on the thing that gives us life. Whether unintentional or not, no one can deny what we’ve done. Whales hunted to the brink of extinction, fish populations decimated by overfishing, poisoned fish finding their way onto our dinner plates. Fukisima, in Japan, the nuclear reactor affected by the tsunami and earthquake, is dumping tons of radioactive water into the sea every day. Who knows what effect that will have on us in future generations? But I’m NOT going to get preachy! I promise. My point here is what if the ocean one day decides to rise against us? What if the creatures we’ve harmed decide to turn against us? And what if the only one who can save both worlds is a brand new mermaid princess?

So why fantasy? Why do I enjoy writing about things and places that don’t exist? The same reason I like reading about them…escapism. Not to mention, I find it easier to set my stories in a made up land. To date, I have five completed novels—all young/new adult and every single one of them either fantasy or paranormal or science fiction. For some reason, every time I sit down to try and finish one of my contemporary romances or women’s fiction, I fail. Writing about the real world? Not as exciting! Diving into a post-apocalyptic world where demons rule? Yes please! I don’t think I’m alone either. Why else have vampires and werewolves, fairy tale retellings, become so popular?

I have a trick I learned from a writing partner of mine. Look at your plot. What can you do to make it unique, different from every other fantasy/vampire/mermaid book out there? See. That’s the best part of writing fantasy. It’s okay to go a little overboard. You cares if you mess with a typical myth, give it tweaks to fit your story. Fantasy gives a writer true creative flexibility. When I first started thinking I might probably give this author thing a shot, I saw fantasy as this unattainable genre. So I stuck to what I knew, the real world. I thought I’d never be able to write about goblins, demons, aliens, or mermaid princesses. The first young adult novel I wrote was published earlier this year. It’s about a girl who’s a sensitive, who sees ghosts, and has some terrifying encounters with them, kind of a ghost version of Cinderella. That book was the test, dipping my toes into genres that I’d never considered. And guess what? It worked! Into the Deep will always hold a special place in my heart because it was the first book I ever colored outside the lines with, the first of many.

Now I say, “Lines? Who needs lines?”