So You Want To Be A Writer: Harvesting Inspiration

So You Want To Be A Writer, Weekly Features, Weekly Novel Writing Inspiration

I usually post a photography feature for novel writing inspiration, and I would like to share my thoughts on how inspiration in the form of a snapshot can become a window into something spectacular.

todays pick ... hot off the bench ... upscaled vintage bottles

There are countless ways to bottle inspiration. Reading a Jane Austen book, going for a walk along the Seine, watching an Italian film, or a whirlwind romance with a handsome stranger you met in Trafalgar Square. I’m asked quite often, “Where does inspiration come from?”

My answer, “I harvest it.”

Surrounded for Illuminations

That usually stumps the inquirer.

eloise

Many writers are faced with this question daily. Where does inspiration come from?

Lion

Can you buy it in a store, like bread and eggs? Is it a commodity to invest in? Or is it simply a far away muse that can only be tapped into if the diva allows it?

Umbrella

Inspiration for writers, both young and old, is not tangible. It is different for each person. We experience the world through a pair of eyes, and a pair of hands. Photography has provided a glorious window for a moment in time to be captured, and many authors will say a certain photo grabbed them so intensely that they wrote an entire book trying to explain it all.

The flea

Lois Lowry, who is most famous for writing “The Giver” was inspired by bunch of unwanted photos in an antique store, that she purchased them all and wrote a book surrounded the exact photos she’d found. That book became “The Silent Boy.” And although inspiration, like love, can’t be bought, but it can be found in the strangest of places.

Estudio Domus

Where would J.K. Rowling be if she hadn’t ridden on that train and found the nucleus of the Harry Potter series dropped into her lap?

It all ends.

Where would Stephenie Meyer be without the dream about an ordinary human girl falling in love with a vampire?

Haha

Where would most of the publishing world be without these tiny sparks of inspiration?

Fairy Tales

Photography allows me to “harvest” inspiration in the forms of little scenes, captured in time. One day, it may be the right time, the right moment, when a pretty picture could spark the beginnings of a book idea.

Lady Bannon of Berwick

Harvest your inspiration like you harvest love.

Sow the seeds and search out your inspiration in the beautiful world out there, and you’ll reap inspiration in the most unlikely places.

:)

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In My Mailbox #3

In My Mailbox

In My Mailbox was created by  The Story Siren. The idea is for book bloggers to come together once a week and post what books they have received in the mail/purchased/found at the library/borrowed from a friend. Anyone can participate!

Final Review Copy

Final Review Copy


Be sure to post your own In My Mailbox links in the comments!

Book Trailer Thursday! “Struck” by Jennifer Bosworth

Book Trailer Thursday, Weekly Features

Once Upon a Twilight

Book Trailer Thursday is a weekly feature started by Once Upon A Twilight, and features a book trailer for a new or upcoming release! Please post links to your own BTTs in the comments!

 “Struck” by Jennifer Bosworth

Book Trailer Thursday!

Book Trailer Thursday, Weekly Features

Once Upon a Twilight

Book Trailer Thursday is a weekly feature started by Once Upon A Twilight, and features a book trailer for a new or upcoming release! Please post links to your own BTTs in the comments!

“Bitterblue” by Kristin Cashore

Bitterblue

Interview with Jus Accardo, Author of “TOUCH”

Author Interviews

Can you tell us a little bit about your debut novel, TOUCH and what
compelled you to write this particular story?

TOUCH is about a seventeen year old girl who lives to piss off her cold
and distant dad. She brings home a guy she meets after a party one night
in hopes of getting her dad’s attention–and it does. Just not the way she
expected.

As for what compelled me…nothing particular, really. My brain just spits
random ideas out. I was sitting on line, waiting for coffee, and got this
image of a girl being chased through the woods. She’s barefoot and the
ground dies as she runs.

What first drew you to writing paranormal romance?

I’ll read anything with a good story and compelling characters, but my
first love is paranormal. It seemed like a natural fit.

If you could cast your characters for the movie version of TOUCH who
would you pick to play Kale and Dez?

Dez would totally be Avril Lavigne and Kale… When i was writing TOUCH I
pictured him as a young Ben Barnes, but after seeing the cover, I want
that guy. Whoever he is, he’s perfection!

What is a typical day of writing like for you?

I usually sit down to work between 6 and 7 a.m. I’ll write most days until
12 and then take a break to run errands. I’m usually back in front of my
machine by 3 and I stay there till midnight at the least. On a normal day,
I average between 4 and 10 k a day give or take.

What are some of the other projects you have written?

Well, I have some early things that aren’t fit for my dogs to read, and I
have some later books–the trilogy that Denazen and Marshal Cross were
actually born from–that I’d love to revisit and rewrite. I’m also working
on the first book in a new paranormal series, but it’s too early to talk
about that yet 🙂

Are there any scenes in  that were inspired by true events?

There’s a bear scene that was inspired by real events. Other than that,
there’s none I can think of. There were a few scenes inspired by music,
though.

How do you feel about the yearly tradition of NaNoWriMo? Have you ever
participated in it and do you have any advice for those currently in the
early stages of it?

I usually do it. I’m going to try this year, but things are a little
crazy. My advice would be set yourself a schedule and stick to it. Every
word counts (There are NO small word counts!). Each one brings you closer
to your goal. So you only got 200 words today? So? Who cares? That’s 200
closer you are to 50k. Keep moving forward! And good luck!

Were there any books you read as a child that affected you directly as a
writer today?

All of S.E. Hinton’s books and Mary Stanton’s The Heavenly Horse From the
Outermost West were the big ones.

Do you have plans for a sequel to TOUCH?

Oh, hell yes 🙂 TOXIC, the second book in the series is with my editor
now. I’m planning to start book three in a few weeks.

What would you say to any potential readers out there that are interested
in reading TOUCH?

If you love a strong heroine who doesn’t need to a white knight to swoop
in and save her, and a hero that’s both sweet and innocent while being
utterly badass at the same time, TOUCH is for you 🙂

—————————————————————————————-

Author Bio:

Jus Accardo is the author of YA paranormal romance and urban fantasy
fiction. A native New Yorker, she lives in the middle of nowhere with her
husband, three dogs, and sometimes guard bear, Oswald. Her first book,
Touch, is due out in November 2011 from Entangled Publishing. She is
represented by Kevan Lyon of Marsal Lyon Literary Agency.

Touch Blurb:

“When a strange boy tumbles down a river embankment and lands at her feet,
seventeen-year-old adrenaline junkie Deznee Cross snatches the opportunity
to piss off her father by bringing the mysterious hottie with ice blue
eyes home.

Except there’s something off with Kale. He wears her shoes in the shower,
is overly fascinated with things like DVDs and vases, and acts like she’ll
turn to dust if he touches her. It’s not until Dez’s father shows up,
wielding a gun and knowing more about Kale than he should, that Dez
realizes there’s more to this boy – and her father’s “law firm” – than she
realized.

Kale has been a prisoner of Denazen Corporation – an organization devoted
to collecting “special” kids known as Sixes and using them as weapons –
his entire life. And, oh yeah, his touch? It kills. Dez and Kale team up
with a group of rogue Sixes hellbent on taking down Denazen before they’re
caught and her father discovers the biggest secret of all. A secret Dez
has spent her life keeping safe.

A secret Kale will kill to protect.”

Title: Touch by Jus Accardo
Genre: YA Paranormal Romance
ePub ISBN: 978-1-937044-44-2
Print ISBN: 978-1-937044-45-9
Release Date: November 1, 2011

Buy Links:

Amazon:
http://www.amazon.com/Touch-Denazen-Novel-Book-1/dp/1937044459/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1320098205&sr=1-1

Barnes & Noble:
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/touch-jus-accardo/1105812249?ean=9781937044459&itm=1&usri=touch%2bby%2bjus%2baccardo

Website: http://www.jusaccardo.com/

Blog: http://www.jusaccardo.com/category/blog/

Book Trailer Thursday!

Book Trailer Thursday, Weekly Features

Once Upon a Twilight

Book Trailer Thursday is a weekly feature started by Once Upon A Twilight, and features a book trailer for a new or upcoming release! Please post links to your own BTTs in the comments!

“Forever” by Maggie Stiefvater

Review: Linger by Maggie Stiefvater

Book Reviews

 Linger by Maggie Stiefvater

Original Publication Date: July 13, 2010 

Library Copy 

Scholastic Press

Overall Grade: 5 out of 5 stars (*****)

Under the barrage of werewolf/supernatural romance that is seen in the Young Adult genre today, The Wolves of Mercy Falls series is a refreshing new package on an old thing. In Shiver, I was intrigued by the aesthetics of the book—the midnight blue ink on the pages, and the cut paper silhouette cover where the the wolf in the foreground was barely discernible from the blue leaves. Inside, at the beginning of each chapter, the author listed the temperature for each character’s point of view. It was something I had never seen before, so Shiver had to be read. An interesting, scientific take on the “werewolfism” disease…

Linger continues Sam and Grace’s storyline, with the interesting addition of Cole and Isabel. I felt in Linger, that Sam and Grace fell a little flat, except toward the end. Cole however was an amazing character. He was just the kind of person that sucked you into his world, and shut you out of it again when it got difficult for him. He was lifelike, and enthralling. Maggie Stiefvater did a fantastic job of giving him a believable personality, and with the link he has to suicide and the music industry paints a fairly accurate picture of the life of a musician—minus the werewolf bit.

It has been quite a long time since a book like that has pulled me so desperately into its world, and wouldn’t let me go until I was on the other side of the story. Linger was definitely more interesting than Shiver, in spite of the presence of Sam and Grace’s uneasy romance.

Review: “Keys to the Repository” by Melissa de la Cruz

Book Reviews, Book Reviews, Uncategorized

 

Keys to the Repository by Melissa de la Cruz

Lavish parties. Passionate meetings in the night. Bone-chilling murders. Midterms. The day-to-day life of Schuyler Van Alen and her Blue Bloods friends (and enemies) is never boring. But there’s oh-so-much more to know about these beautiful and powerful teens. Below the streets of Manhattan, within the walls of the Repository, exists a wealth of revealing information about the vampire elite that dates back before the Mayflower. In a series of short stories, journal entries, and never-before-seen letters, New York Times bestselling author Melissa de la Cruz gives her hungry fans the keys to the Repository and an even more in-depth look into the secret world of the Blue Bloods.

Won’t you come inside?

Synopsis Courtesy of Amazon.com

A companion book to the New York Times Bestselling Series, “Blue Bloods”, I received this book from Melissa De La Cruz’s office early in June but only recently had the privilege of reading it.

Serving as a guidebook to the series while midway in the story arc, Keys to the Repository has maps, snippets of character information like Jack Force’s hair and eye color (I always imagined him with dark hair, not platinum blonde) and the past lives of the Coven. There were a few short story in-between scenes throughout the book that weren’t covered in some of the novels, most notably Jack and Schuyler’s first private meeting in the dark apartment.

Even though that particular “extended scene” snippet fell a little short on the promised “goods”, I thoroughly enjoyed the extra scene featuring Dylan Ward and the house on Shelter Island. The mood was dark and gloomy, more so than anything else that Melissa has written in this series and the mood was reminiscent of “The Others” film starring Nicole Kidman. Creepy house, cold nights, fog, and a dark figure trying to get inside… What else could you ask for so close to Halloween?

Keys To the Repository would have been better placed after the series was finished, instead of awkwardly released in the middle, as a lot of information about the characters that should have been “revealed” was a bit ambiguous for my taste. I really liked the cover design, and is a cool book to add to my collection. I think a further in-depth guide in the future is needed to have a clearer picture of all of the characters and their past lives, but this was a great book full of hints of what is to come next for Schuyler, Jack, Mimi and Bliss in the Blue Bloods series.

Vampire Deluge: Surviving the YA section

Uncategorized

I recently came across this vlog from a friend of mine and it is an honest (if swearing-laced) view of the YA section at her local bookstore. She comments on the literal deluge of vampire books in the teen market.

Note: This video contains slight cursing.

Do you think the YA market should move on to a new topic of interest? Is everyone through with the Twilight-copycats yet?

Fairy Tale Re-tellings: Overdone or just what YA needs?

Book Reviews

Shelves at bookstores are chock-full of vampire stories and werewolf sagas and chicklit with various pieces of candy on their covers. A beloved, yet overlooked genre of books that has gotten little attention are Fairy Tale Re-tellings.

“East” by Edith Pattou is one of my favorites in this genre, based on the fairy tale “East of the Sun, West of the Moon” with a little bit of “Beauty and the Beast” and the legend of “Cupid and Psyche” mixed in.

However, there are so many fairy tale re-tellings out there especially in YA fiction, has it become overdone that readers are overlooking them?

Beastly by Alex Flinn is a retelling of…you guessed it…Beauty and the Beast.

There are so many retellings of Beauty and the Beast, but there are other refreshing retellings that have been making their way into libraries and bookstores like “Goose Girl” by Shannon Hale and “Princess of the Midnight Ball” by Jessica Day George.

What do you think? Is this a genre that is deservedly overlooked because it is done so often?

Or is it just what YA needs amidst the deluge of “Twilight” copycats?