November 3, 2014 by Kiersi
I’m so excited to have author Kate Brauning and her debut YA novel, HOW WE FALL, on the blog today! She’s got some really fun, exclusive content for us. (Scroll down for book blurb!)
I was lucky enough to get an ARC of HOW WE FALL, which I reviewed on Goodreads. It’s thrilling, emotional, fast-paced and un-put-downable. I may have cried a couple times.
One thing that features prominently in the novel are classic movies, so I decided to ask Kate a couple questions about how they found their way into HOW WE FALL.
- How did you personally get into classic movies?
When I was growing up, we frequently had family movie nights– something all seven of us could do together. But since my mother used to insist nothing good was made after 1960, that meant we watched a lot of classic movies. Musicals, especially. Men in suits, smoky bars, lavish parties with women in Grace Kelly gowns. Political intrigue, heady romance, subtle, character-driven stories. In some ways, I think it skewed my perception of adulthood, but I also learned to watch the stories carefully. (more…)
Category Book Promo | Tags: author interview,classic movies,contemporary,How We Fall,Kate Brauning,romance,YA | 9 Comments
January 21, 2013 by Kiersi
The Princess Fantasy:
Are Authors Responsible For The Messages They Send About Love and Life?
What is “the princess fantasy”?
This opinion piece might be better titled, “the princess delusion,” because that’s really what it is that I want to talk about: a delusion. A notion that a girl is, above all else, destined to be with the perfect man; that there will be some magical spark when she meets him, that he will rescue her from everything that is wrong in her life, and they will instantly (usually on first sight) fall in love. Forever.
The love interests in these “fantasies” are often alpha-males, or “princes,” who fulfill every desire (this is relative to the audience, of course). In young adult books, I find there are a few different kinds of princes to choose from: the bad boy, who is eventually reformed by the girl’s love (the “Beast”); the guy who is perfect from the start, loves the princess madly, and pursues her relentlessly, but has pretty disturbing or suspicious behaviors (the Edward Cullens of the group); the two-dimensional Prince Charming or Prince Philip; and a variety of other archetypes that are all, in some way, freakishly ideal. (more…)
Category Commentary | Tags: alpha-male,Bella,Edward,fairy tales,happily ever after,insta-love,princesses,romance,Stephenie Meyer,the princess delusion,the princess fantasy,Twilight,YA | 24 Comments
July 17, 2012 by Kiersi
If you follow me on Twitter, you’ve probably seen me talking about my new short story, currently titled D, but sometimes also known by the hashtag #MANdroid. “Mandroid” became a sort of joke after I shared the opening lines of the story with @eddyrivas.
The piece starts like this:
I have met the perfect man.
His name is D-084.
Category In Progress | Tags: androids,mandroid,publications,romance,sci-fi,short stories,speculative fiction,titles | 4 Comments
June 29, 2012 by Kiersi
After last week’s Dick and Jane post about buffing up your story or manuscript with conflict, a commenter suggested I discuss and share some ways this can be accomplished. What kinds of conflicts do people have? What are some ways to integrate them into your manuscript?
1. Characterization is key. I referred to this loosely in the comments as “just make everyone a big, fat jerk,” but that’s not really the whole story.
Let’s start with this: people are twits. I mean, just look at these teenagers who mercilessly taunted a volunteer school bus monitor. A quick and easy way to create conflict in a story is to make one of your characters act like a total and complete asshat. If you’re like me and generally writing young adult fiction, that should be easy enough to do–a teenager can vacillate between being an angel and a demon faster than you can say “adolescence.” He inflames others around him. He starts arguments. He causes continental drift. (more…)
Category How-to | Tags: characterization,conflict,disasters,expectations,family,nature,romance,YA | 2 Comments
June 20, 2012 by Kiersi
BODACIOUS, by Sharon Ervin
This book gets: ♥♥♥♥ out of 5
As a rule, I’m normally not into romance novels. They’re shallow and formulaic. However, I discovered the (unfortunately titled) BODACIOUS through a fellow reviewer on Amazon, and the reviews were so good, I decided to drop the $3.99 and read it. Though this blog focuses on YA, I’ve decided to post my review of BODACIOUS and (hopefully) give this indie writer some traffic–it’s so rare to find a gem like this buried in the pile of self-published slush, I wanted to pass it on.
Sara Loomis is kidnapped by hillbillies during a botched gas station robbery. When the matriarch of the inbred family finds out what they’ve done, she commands that Sara be “taken care of.” But stuttering Cappy can’t bring himself to do the deed, so he leaves Sara at the mercy of “Bo,” a mute, grizzled mountain man living in a one-room cabin on the fringes of society. Though Bo refuses to return Sara to civilization, he shelters, clothes, and feeds her–all without ever uttering a word. What follows is an expedition of discovery, of shedding old notions and prejudices, and finding something you never knew was lost. (more…)
Category Book Reviews | Tags: book review,breaking the mold,romance,Sharon Ervin | 6 Comments
April 24, 2012 by Kiersi
I think we can all agree–considering the success of The Hunger Games and the imminent finale of the Twilight movies–that the fad of supernatural and paranormal elements in young adult literature is beginning to dissipate. Even paranormal romance is dropping off the radar for publishers and agents. Werewolves are done, blasé. Vampires? I’d bet with real money that True Blood‘s upcoming sixth season will be its last, with all the original charm and wit squeezed out by the show’s increasing time devotion to witches, shape-changers and goblin-like fey. Television and book series can no longer be sustained by the concept of the “sexy vampire” alone. Monster fic is riding the molten tail of a comet passing its hey day. Satire is always a sign of something on the “fad” decline, and I’d say Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter is the tell-all tale. (more…)
Category Commentary, Industry | Tags: cowboys,literary trends,paranormal,romance,sci-fi,superheroes,YA | 2 Comments
March 7, 2012 by Kiersi
Voices of Angels, by Hannah M. Davis
Voices of Angels, Hannah M. Davis – Okay, so the title could use some work (it sounds like a made-for-TV movie). And looking back, I find it a strange that the cover features a female angel when the stone statue starring in this novel is so distinctly male. Nevertheless, Davis’s debut YA novel is a raging success. (more…)
Category Book Reviews | Tags: eBooks,flamenco,Hannah M. Davis,romance,Voices of Angels,YA | No Comments
January 6, 2012 by Kiersi
I’ve probably already lost half my readers with this title (and matching picture), but I want to assure you that today’s how-to is anything but a tutorial on writing romance novels. Instead, it’s a tutorial about writing real life without scaring off fifty percent of your audience with hack vocabulary like “beautiful” and “kissing.”
Regardless of whether you have romance in your life or not, every person at some point will feel an attraction towards another, and being able to write these kinds of relationships without coming off like Nora Roberts or Danielle Steele is essential. Even if your book is a middle-grade action thriller, your young hero will undoubtedly interact with a cute girl during his journey. Today I want to give you the tools you need to write that encounter without making anyone blush. (more…)
Category How-to | Tags: how-to,romance,the art of writing | No Comments