Query, reading, writing, ya

RTW: Quarterly check-ins…

So it’s been FOREVER since I’ve done a Road Trip Wednesday….Happy to be back!

Road Trip Wednesday is a ‘Blog Carnival,’ where YA Highway’s contributors post a weekly writing- or reading-related question and answer it on our own blogs. You can hop from destination to destination and get everybody’s unique take on the topic.

This Week’s Topic:

Quarterly check-ins! We’re already 1/4 of the way through the year–where are you on your reading and writing goals?
In terms of reading I didn’t set myself any specific goals except the Debut Author Challenge. And I need to review the books I’v read because WOW I’ve gotten lost in some amazing stories!
And I’ve been doing a lot of beta-reading and critiquing. Let me tell you: I’m VERY lucky I get to read all those manuscripts and pages! They’re wonderful!!!!
When it comes to my writing?
  • I finished the extensive revision of ONE TWO THREE and it’s back in Query Land (plus, it got two requests via Cupid’s contest, yay! and it’s off to the agents of the Submission mailbox of YAlitchat.org)
  • To get my mind off querying and because my fingers itched to draft again, I started SHINY NEW WIP, i.e. GUILTY…It was supposed to be a YA contemporary romance novel it’s turning into a YA romantic suspense novel. And I’m excited!
One of my goals was to be more appreciative and to find balance. Well…let’s just say I have to work even harder to find this balance I’m longing for. Work has been very very busy, hubby is traveling a lot and let’s just say it can get overwhelming.
I have some coping ways:
  1. The sun is shining again. That ought to help brighten the mood.
  2. We’re moving closer to the train station, which means: YAY project and YAY having some office space and YAY no more waiting for the bus and missing my train because of it.
  3. Writing and reading.
  4. Spending time with my hubby
  5. Enjoying the small things.
  6. Listening to my cat purring (or snoring :-))
Plus, I need to disconnect from times to times, not from Twitter, no but from my blackberry, that should help 🙂
My writing goal is to finish the first draft of GUILTY by the end of April…that gives me about 2 months and I already wrote 10k in the past couple of weeks!
Tell me, how are you doing these days? Did you accomplish some of your goals?
music, writing, ya

Tuesday Tunes – Addicted to you…

I started working on my playlist again. As I write in the train, the music blocks any other noises but it also gives me a nice creativity bust from times to times.

These past few days, I´ve been playing a particular song a lot on my iPod. It gives me the right rhythm and…some of the lyrics fit quite well a certain relationship. (I´m sure the official video is better but…couldn´t watch it in Germany)

So, tell me what is YOUR song of the week for writing, dancing, cooking, chilling, commuting? 😀

reading, ya

Class of 2011: YA Superlatives blogfest – Best in Show

Katy Upperman, Jessica Love, Tracey Neithercott and Alison Miller had the great idea to organize the  CLASS OF 2011: YA SUPERLATIVES BLOGFEST! Don´t hesitate to check their blogs for all the links…

For this feature “Best in show”, I am proud to introduce: A Beautiful Dark by Jocelyn Davies, The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater, Die for Me by Amy Plum, The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter, Tangled Tides by Karen Amanda Hooper, Passion by Lauren Kate, The Duff by Kody Keplinger…


Favorite CoverA Beautiful Dark

Cutest Couple – Sean and Puck from The Scorpio Races, I mean they´re just adorable and when he kisses her wrist awwww….

Most Likely to Make You Miss Your Bedtime (The book you just couldn’t put down!):  I did miss my bedtime many many times because of several books (YA and non YA). For this one, I chose the latest read which caused my hubby to turn around several times grunting at me: The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter.

Best Repeat Performance (Your favorite sequel or follow-up.):  Passion by Lauren Kate. Even though I am a tad disappointed with this sequel, I gotta love the time travel…

Romance Most Worthy of an Ice Bath: Kate and Vincent from Die For Me (with a runner-up: Treygan and Yara from Tangled Tides). Kate and Vincent have that all forbidden love going on while Treygan and Yara, well, let´s put it that way: they may not kiss right away but they still put the heat on 🙂

Pair Most Likely to Stay Best Friends Till They’re 80: Again, Sean and Puck. They understand each other with a look and they have the same goals in life.

Breakout Novel (Favorite Book by a Debut Author): Here it is a toss-up between Die for me by Amy Plum and Tangled Tides by Karen Amanda Hooper (I reduced it to 2 which is quite amazing if you ask me :-)). I really enjoyed the characters in Die for Me including the secondary ones, it made me laugh and I loved that it was set in Paris… Tangled Tides just made dive into a different world and one it was hard to leave when the book ended.

Best Old-Timer (Your favorite read of the year, published BEFORE 2011.): The DUFF by Kody Keplinger…

Most Pleasant Surprise (The best book you didn’t think you’d like, but totally did.): The Goddess Test. I read some negative reviews about it and I have to say I did not expect an exact re-telling of the Greek mythology.  Maybe, that´s what allowed me to let myself really enjoy this book. Even though certain parts made me go “whaaat?”, my most common reactions ended up with “awww”

Most Creative Use of a Love Triangle: Tangled Tides…I don´t want to give any spoilers but let´s just say it was refreshing!

writing, ya

RTW: How far would you go?

Another long day, about to get myself settle with a book and a cup of tea but I could not pass up on Road Trip Wednesday 🙂

Road Trip Wednesday is a ‘Blog Carnival,’ where YA Highway’s contributors post a weekly writing- or reading-related question and answer it on our own blogs. You can hop from destination to destination and get everybody’s unique take on the topic.

This Week’s Topic:

How far would you go to get published?

When I first read the topic, my thoughts started to wonder and the first images which flashed in front of my eyes came from movies:

The Devil´s Advocate and The Devil wears Prada (wonderful movies by the way :-))

So, how far would I go so that my dreams come true? My name on a beautiful cover, billions (yes billions :-)) of readers to hold a hard copy or paperback of the story I have written?

Would I be willing to basically sell myself and who I am to get published: no. I have learned to trust my instincts and I have a wonderful husband to get me grounded if things get out of hands and I get blinded.

However, when it comes to the following baseball bases (not a big baseball fan but still: Go Orioles!), here is my view:

First base: I may or may not do this. The way I am currently writing, it is taking me awhile to finish the draft so it might be trendy by the time I tried to query it. Would I then try to see what the next trend might be? Probably but I will only write it if I am inspired which means I like the trend…so I would not call that selling my soul to the ennemy

Second base: (ok here for a second it sounds like we´re talking about making out in High School :-)) would I change voice? Yes again probably, I do enjoy reading many genres and if may try my “writing” hand at another genre if I feel it´s right for me (i.e. I am not writing total crap)

Third base: Minor revisions? It is a no-brainer! I know my writing is not 100% perfect and I always strive to improve it. I´m all for my story becoming even better thanks to those revisions.

Homerun: Major revisions? Ok here it´s a bit like talking about the definition of the word “culture”, there are thousands out there. If by major revisions, it means going with a different ending but one that I can agree with, yes it will be difficult but I might do it. Major revisions include things I can not put myself through then the answer is “no”.

So you might notice a trend in my answers and I´m sure many others (from writers published and non-published alike): yes, probably would do it but….and the but is what matters so that we can continue to look at ourselves in the mirror at the end of the day.

Tell me, what do you think either about the movies or the actual question :-)? How far would you go?


writing, ya, young adult

You’re not perfect but you’re perfect for my story…

In recent weeks, I read a lot about the building of characters, how to make sure they are believable, that readers can root for them, love or hate them…Here are some of the posts which got me to ponder (or smile):

After all, we all have flaws and so do the people in the novels we read. On top of my head, I am thinking about a trilogy by Catherine Hermary-Vieille in which the women are clearly not perfect but they are idealistic or cynical, secret, fragile but strong, they commit errors, sometimes do not learn from them until it is too late, they embrace their feminine side or reject it. While my characters may not be as extreme (I promise I will do a book review on her trilogy soon :-)), they need to be authentic.

“A writer should create living people; people, not characters.  A character is a caricature.”

Ernest Hemingway

My “people” grow with the novel itself, they tell me their past as they react to events thrown at them. One of my main male protagonists, Aleksi, is rebellious, tender, cynical, loving, mysterious, funny, clearly hot, complicated, smart and charming (totally reminds me of my husband *Disclaimer: he is reading this blog* :-))

He would be a mix of:

Angel from Buffy the Vampire Slayer (and no Aleksi is not a vampire)

Pacey from Dawson’s creek  

Dylan from Beverly Hills(the early episodes)

Now tell me 🙂 As a reader: what makes you fall in love with a character? As a writer: who does your male protagonist remind you of?