Thursday, February 25, 2010

Big. Really BIG inspiration.

I'm the type of person that likes to take things to the extreme. Go big or go home! So it's no wonder that while researching for my current WIP I went with this particular home as inspiration for the family estate. You may have heard of a little place called Biltmore in Ashville in North Carolina, the largest home in America. 8,000 acres, 250 rooms, a winery...

Anyone have the pleasure of visiting this incredible estate? I'd love to hear details since I'm working only off the the picture and videos and information on their site. I took it down a few notches for the home in my story, knocked off a few rooms and lost a couple thousand acres. I really hope I get to see this place in real life someday but I have the feeling after I'm finished with this WIP I'll feel like I already have.
Have you ever gone really BIG with your inspiration?
P.S. I think I may have found my title for this WIP! Also, you can check out my hook and playlist here. Gee, ya think I'm a tad bit excited about this one?

Monday, February 22, 2010

Before YA was YA

I didn't do much writing this weekend and I didn't catch up on reading/commenting on blogs, Facebook or Twitter like I planned. BUT I did get a lot of reading done. That's never a bad thing. I finished one book and should finish the other today.

So who's with me on the fond memories of junior high or high school memories of reading Christopher Pike books? Remember Me, Chain Letter? Everyone read them in my school. Among other authors it seems Christopher Pike was making YA hot before it was even YA. These days you can walk into any book store and find a section devoted to nothing but Teen and YA titles. And as anyone who isn't living under a rock knows it isn't just teens who are reading them. I'm thirty years old and I pretty much only read YA these days. I'm not sure I could've said that ten years ago because right now there is a huge, diverse and incredible offering of books out there in this genre. Personally, I love fantasy and the fact that I can go to the bookstore and be totally overwhelmed at the amount of titles to choose from makes me smile.

Back to the books I read. Thanks to our amazing friends at Simon & Schuster who have partnered with us at Fallenarchangel on our featured fiction each month, I read Christopher Pike's Thirst book No. 1 and have book No. 2 ready to go, and thank God because I HAVE to find out what happens next.

Here's the description from Simon & Schuster's site.

Alisa has been in control of her urges for the five thousand years she has been a vampire. She feeds but does not kill, and she lives her life on the fringe to maintain her secret. But when her creator returns to hunt her, she must break her own rules in order to survive.

Her quest leads her to Ray. He is the only person who can help her; he also has every reason to fear her. Alisa must get closer to him to ensure her immortality. But as she begins to fall in love with Ray, suddenly there is more at stake than her own life....

These tiles just came out this year but the stories aren't new, they're separate books that came out starting in 1994. How the heck did I miss them back then? A 5,000 year old vampire? Yes please. She is one bad ass chick. Check out more info here. (And if you like the sounds of it make sure you stop by our site next month when we get to give away five copies of both books.) There's something about knowing this vampire story was written before most other YA vampire books were created. This is not your run of the mill falling in love with a dangerous creature story. The romance is secondary and if they were made into a movie (would die to see that) it would be a skull crushing (I told you she kicks some serious butt), seductive, action blockbuster.

It's great to see authors like Pike and LJ Smith back in popularity with the vampire trend still going. Hello, need I say more then The Vampire Diaries TV show? Amazing.

Anyone else get thrown back to your teenage years when hearing the name Christopher Pike? What were your favorites? Thoughts on the old titles becoming new again?

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Fortune cookie wisdom

I found this little gem in my fortune cookie. It's inspiring any way you look at it--in life, in love, in writing. But it's pretty darn special to me since I'm in the process of writing a book about fortune telling. While my MC doesn't go around writing fortunes that go in actual fortune cookies this one is so fitting for the way I'm writing this particular story.

"You cannot discover new oceans unless you are willing to lose sight of the shore."

Monday, February 15, 2010

One girl's opinion on the first Percy Jackson film

Well, hello there, Logan Lerman. You may have just turned 18, but you are totally a hottie as Percy Jackson.

OK, now that I got that out of my system...

As you can guess we went to see Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief. The adults in our group had a mixed reaction; one of my sisters was disappointed, the other was in between, I loved it, and my 10-year-old niece and 8-year-old nephew really liked it.

It got me thinking about books turned movie and I realized how many movies have turned me into a fan of the story. We're talking the big guys here; Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, Twilight. As strange as I think it is, I've read quite a few of my all time favorite series because of the news they were being made into feature films. I sort of feel a sell out for doing it backwards, but now that I'm a full time YA reader and writer I doubt that will happen again. I'm dying to see some of my favorite books on the big screen in the next couple years---Shiver, The Hunger Games, Uglies...

How I let Percy Jackson slip by until now is a mystery to me. I've had the paperback for months but have never read it, and as I mentioned in my last post I ordered the Percy Jackson box set. Something I'm even more excited about after seeing the movie. Of course, as usual, many of the book fans seem to be disappointed in the movie translation so I think my having seen the movie first will be a good thing.

It may only be my personal opinion, but I highly suggest checking this movie out. There were a few things that could've been cut out or came off a bit cheesy but overall I loved it. I had fun. I loved being surprised with not knowing the plot and I absolutely enjoyed watching Percy's character come to life. The fact that he was played by an actor he's cute as all heck didn't hurt either. ; )

What do you guys think? Any thoughts on Percy Jackson or any books turned into movies?

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Random Friday

This is random and to the point. (Sort of like me.)

I ordered the Percy Jackson hardcover box set! I've had the paperback of the first one but never got around to reading it. But in honor of seeing the movie Monday, I thought it was time to dive in. Cannot wait to see what Percy Jackson is all about. ; )

My visit to the local Barnes & Noble on Tuesday was a total flop. I went to pick up a copy of Josh Berk's Dark Days of Hamburger Halpin. Not only does the book sound awesome and has received raving early reviews, Josh is a fellow Pennsylvanian and a librarian in a town about an hour from here. Unfortunately, the folks here didn't realize the awesomeness of his debut novel and failed to have a copy waiting for me. The nerve. No worries. I ordered a copy with my Percy Jackson books.

And so I anxiously await the new additions to my library.

In writing related news, I'm pushing along on my fortune teller WIP. Not quite as fast as I'd like but the good news is that I'm in love with this story. Head over heels in love with this story. Wonderful news considering I'm in that whole waiting phase (fulls and partials are out with agents as we speak!) with Sage.

Ohhh, I finally joined Goodreads! If you'd like to connect you can find me here.

One last thing...

We are over 900 members strong on and closing in on 1000. Not to sound like a shameless plug, but if you've read Hush, Hush and loved it, please come join us and join the forum. Come on, you know you want to.

On that note, have an awesome weekend! I look forwarding to sharing what I think about the Percy Jackson movie. Anyone else planning on seeing it?

Monday, February 8, 2010

A little Monday inspiration

This is for anyone who has ever experienced writers block, received a harsh critique when you thought your story was finally right, suffered through revisions, had an inbox full of rejections, felt like giving up...

"When we feel stuck, going nowhere -- even starting to slip backward -- we may
actually be backing up to get a running start."

- Dan Millman

Now, get your running start, and go kick that story's ass.

This quote is from The Daily Guru.

New Look!

I've wanted to redo my blog for months now. Finally did it! What do you guys think? I wanted it to be pretty basic with a light background but I'd love to hear suggestions if something seems off or just plain ugly. And, of course, please tell me if there are any typos or anything. This is a writing blog after all.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

I want it! I want it. I want it?

I was like most kids growing up. I wished for things. Wanted them so badly I'd squeeze my eyes shut, twine my little hands together, and pray my ass off for whatever it was I wanted at that moment. Sometimes it was a kitten, to have a sleepover, a second cupcake. You get the idea. Little things that seemed like really big things to me then.

Then I became a teenager. *insert ominous music*

My wants got a lot bigger and way more specific. I didn't want just any boyfriend. I wanted the exact boy I'd met at the mall to be my boyfriend. I didn't want just any ol' car. I wanted the white Honda Prelude on the lot down the road. Yeah, as you can tell I was a real delight to deal with in those days. My poor poor parents. The good news for them, and me, and the rest of the world, is that I've relaxed on wanting specific things with such crazed desire. I still pursue my dreams like there's no tomorrow, but with a more mature open attitude. And thank God for that because if I was still so insanely detailed in my goals I'd have flushed my head down the toilet about ten times since I started writing.

I guess you could chalk it up the learning that whole sometimes-we-don't-know-what's-best-for-ourselves thing. Oddly enough this reminds me of that Garth Brooks song (yup, I was a bit of a country fan back in the day) where he says something about thanking God for not answering his prayers. Amen that to that. If some of my highly detailed prayer requests had been granted I cringe just imagining what would have happened as a result. Let's just say there's some poor judgement on my part when it came to the opposite sex a time or two. Throw in a job and a few major moves and I'd probably be... Not here! Not writing. Not loving the state of my life.

What writer hasn't wished with all of their heart that the book they just finished editing is "the one?" *raises hand* But whether it's due to life experience (becoming a parent, turning 30...) or some cosmic intervention, I've started to see the bigger picture. SAGE is out there in the world being read by agents which means there is a part of me, a VERY big part of me that wants to see this be "the book," but I've come to this sort of eerie peaceful place that has allowed me to be okay if it isn't. Because the next one will be. And if that one isn't...then the one after that will.

Do you set specific goals or aim wide? Are you determined to see that one book be "the one?" Were you a stubborn kid that learned their lesson that hard way like I did?

Monday, February 1, 2010

The reading binge continues...

My reading has been extremely slow these last few weeks. But I did manage to finish Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater and I'm almost done with Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott. (on a side note, I really don't love reading nonfiction, even if I love the actual book it takes me five times the amount of time to finish)

Love. Love. Love. This. Book. Maggie Stiefvater has an incredible whimsical quality to her writing that I adored in this story. I haven't read any of her other books (YET) but I'm willing to bet it carries through in all her writing. Her description of places, senses and emotions are magical, yet raw. That, combined with the urgency and mystery of the main plot had me totally immersed in this book. So inspiring! I passed up a nap (I was fighting a cold) a time or two to read and it was one of those times where I wanted so badly to finish but hated leaving Sam and Grace. Dying to read Linger... So if you happen to be lucky enough to have an ARC feel free to send it my way.

Bird by Bird
I've heard people talk about this book a lot so over the course of the past year I've looked for it at the bookstore and even had it in my shopping cart online, but always ended up going for one of my beloved YA fantasies instead. So I'm sort of thinking this was one of those right time, right places things. And this was the right time for me to read it. It's so refreshing to read a book that provides both writing and life advice and inspiration. While I'm all about learning to write better, I love the idea of merging it with everyday life, Because let's face it if you're a serious writer it weaves itself into just about every aspect of your life. *sigh* And I wouldn't have it any other way. Can't wait to see what other gems she has to share in the last section of the book. I would highly recommed this to any writer out there. Go buy it now!

Up next...Graceling by Kristin Cashore and Raven by Allison van Diepen.