Monthly Archives: February 2012

ARC giveaway STARTERS by lissa price

in anticipation of my upcoming interview with author lissa price, i was lucky enough to get my hands on an ARC of her YA debut, STARTERS. fast-paced and a thrilling ride of a read from start to finish, STARTERS will be released march 13th (random house).

In a world ravaged by war and genocide, becoming someone else is now possible. Sixteen-year-old Callie discovers the Body Bank where teens rent their bodies to seniors who want to be young again. When her neurochip malfunctions, she wakes up in the mansion of her rich renter and finds she is going out with a senator’s grandson. It’s a fairy-tale new life, until she discovers her renter’s deadly plan.

as much as i’d love to hoard any ARCs coming my way, it’s only right to share the love. so up for grabs is an ARC of the fabulous STARTERS! all you have to do is 1) post a comment on this post with your name and twitter handle; and 2) follow me* on twitter. contest open within north america and closes noon pst friday, march 2nd. a winner will be chosen using and will then be contacted via twitter.

good luck! and be sure to visit the lucky 13s blog on march 13th for my interview with lissa!

*if you already follow me, you’re automatically entered, so just leave a comment here!

contest is now closed, and if you’re the winner, you’ve been contacted via twitter! thanks for entering, you guys!

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what books-turned-movies might be up for oscars in 2013?

so the 2012 oscars are over, and you’re either

1) self-satisfied in knowing you actually saw all the best picture nominees this year


2) kind of feeling there’s no point in playing catch-up now, and, hey, there’s always next year.

however you stand, whether you’ve seen the films or not, you can decide to read them.

six of the nine best picture nominees were based on books.

the descendants
the help
the invention of hugo cabaret
war horse
extremely loud and incredibly close

other films based on books that got nominated for other oscars? harry potter and the deathly hallows part 2, girl with the dragon tattoo, tinker, tailor, soldier, spy, and my week with marilyn.

this beats last year’s list, when four of the ten best picture nominees were based on books: the social network (the accidental billionaires), true grit, 127 hours (between a rock and a hard place, and winter’s bonehow to train your dragon got a nod for best animated film.

think we might be seeing any of these movies-based-on-books play a role on oscar night, 2013?

the hobbit
the hunger games
dr. suess’ the lorax
life of pi
the great gatsby
the silver linings playbook
the wettest county in the world
abraham lincoln: vampire hunter

personally, i cannot wait for the hobbit. it’s been much, much, too long since the adaptations of lotr hit the big screen. and the hunger games, though i’m worried they’re going to mess up the adaptation (i think the harry potter movies fall far short of the books). what say you? (sorry, had to sneak in an aragon quote, there.)

random: listening to midnight city by m83, reading the art of fielding by chad harbach, watching nhl trade deadline news all day.

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a story in 3:41

before i get my butt to work, i thought i’d blog about something a bit different.

when you think of stories, you think of books. then, movies, probably. but there’s also music videos. all three are just different mediums of expression. music videos pretty much get the shaft, though, since they (usually) have a much shorter run time. which means instead of 300 pages or 2 hours to effectively convey a story, they get about 4 minutes. personally, i love music videos that go beyond the typical concert scenes, or the montage of blurred images that add up to not much more.

my book DUALED deals with the theme of conflict, both internal and external. so when i saw the video for adam lambert’s better than i know myself, i couldn’t miss that same theme at the heart of it–of conflict, of duality. sure, a lot of it’s very OTT, but when you only get a few minutes to play up a theme and really drive it home, you can’t be wimpy about it. i ended up with 80,000 words for DUALED. director ray kay has about 3 minutes, 41 seconds. and in that time, he manages to fit in so many instances/symbols/images of duality.

1. dark adam vs zen adam
2. heavy makeup vs going barefaced
3. cold/black/blue tones vs warm/sunny/earth tones
4. jagged screen edges vs. smooth screen edges
5. leather jacket vs cuddly cardigan
6. single bed for one vs double bed for two
7. branches and skulls vs green plants
8. tequila vs tea
9. destroys books vs reading books
10. makes a mess vs sweeping, making the bed
11. overwrought expressions vs serene meditation
12. playing with fire vs playing chess
13. wasting oxygen vs needing oxygen

i love this video. it’s multi-layered, well-thought out, and took what could have easily been just another romance theme and spun it into something different. how in the end, dark adam has to accept the existence of zen adam to survive. the fact that adam lambert himself as an artist can be very polarizing also fits the theme of duality so well. plus, i think i tweeted about how this song has been stuck in my head these last few days, and i’ve pinned it on my music board, so i figured i might as well go and blog about it, too.

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yes, i’ve finally succumbed to the lovely evil that is pinterest. i’ve had an account for months, but somehow managed to avoid the lure until just this past week or so. i’ve fallen head over heels in love with it (and it’s valentine’s day! how tidy is that?).

as writers, we’re so used to using words to express ourselves. our books come to life with nouns and verbs, voice and tone. and for writers of young adult, we usually don’t get to play around with illustrations–even the cover art, for the most part, is pretty much out of our hands.

what’s so cool about pinterest is that it lets us paint our books with visuals, to create it again using story boards. we get colour, shadow, textures. and it’s pretty damn fun. find my board for DUALED here. for all my boards, follow me here.

oh, and over on friday the thirteeners, we’ve got a special guest! ya author chris howard (ROOTLESS, fall 2012) drops by to sing us a song via vlog. check him out here!

random: listening to flo rida f. sia wild ones, lil wayne f. bruno mars mirror

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blog hopping #1

i’m blogging over at friday the thirteeners ya blog today to take the truth for my first truth or dare! i tackle WHY we write the books we do. so come say hello 🙂

also, i have the weekend to nail down my dedication and acknowledgement pages for DUALED. it’s funny, this is the stuff that lurks in the back of your mind, ever since you begin dreaming about becoming published. so when it actually happens, it’s almost bittersweet. how some people have been constants, unflagging and just all around awesome…and others who you might have expected to be? maybe not quite so much.

biggest fear? forgetting someone important. how often does this sort of opportunity come up, right? this is incredible stuff.

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i’ve been back and forthing with a fellow ya author friend about another author whose books we just love. someone whose books came to form much of our reading and writing foundations. and our clear favourites of the bunch? the ones written when the author had been charged on just a bit more than the normal “writer’s high”.

and i don’t mean just caffeine, either.

it came down to a sense of just leaving everything out there, uglies and dirt and all. there’s edge, it’s raw, and pure feeling poured out in every word and turn of phrase. like there was no care about structure or mechanics as long as the story made its way onto the page. it was almost romantic, the hurry to love before the passion was gone.

i still reread those books all the time. the worlds are familiar now, but no less vivid.

what do you think about needing to be elevated to write well, or write at all? being hopped up on nerve-jumping adrenaline from lack of sleep? chain-chugging red bull? stuffing down sugar-laced candies by the handful? does it just come down to catching that groove that lets you tap into that writer side of yourself? is this when you write most as yourself?

oh. i’m up for my truth or dare this friday on friday the thirteeners. don’t miss!


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young adult books in school

looking back on my high school english classes, only one book stands out to me as having been young adult. that would have been s.e. hinton’s the outsiders. ok, we probably did quite a few more over the years, but that’s the one that comes to mind right away. plus, my memory’s been shot ever since i got into this crazy writing thing, so there’s that.

the outsiders floored me. the angst, the drama, the names (sodapop! ponyboy!). i looooved that book. so much so that i wish i could drop the “stay gold, ponyboy, stay gold” quote courtesy of johnny cade more often in conversation without looking absolutely idiotic.

wow. i just realized this post has totally and utterly dated me. hah.

soooo…five years from now, what ya books from today might be studied? in ten years?

(oh, and check out fellow ya author ellen oh’s post on naysayers at my group blog, friday the thirteeners. yours truly is up next week for truth or dare!)

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