Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The southern draw

It would've been cool if I could do another book review this week, huh? Ya, well, too bad. Life gets in the way sometimes, doesn't it?

I'm currently reading To Kill a Mocking Bird. The book club I'm in seems to choose classics for January. Not that we actually say, hey let's pick a classic to start the year off, it just sorta happens that way. Which is good. But after last years The Count of Monte Cristo debacle (of course it was only a debacle to me), we went with something a little easier to read.

It is not one of those books that you would describe as gripping. At least not yet (see above-haven't finished). But it has that classic feel to it. The kind of book you want to take your time reading. And to get to the point of what this post is really about, it's Southern.

For some reason I'm drawn to books that take place in the south. I really have no idea why. Even in school, learning about the civil war was something that actually kept my attention. And if you know me, you know I hated history class. Kind of like Buffy.

So are there books you're drawn to? I know some people love to read anything about WWII, or eat up 19th century literature, etc. But to be drawn, not to a period in time, but to a region? Does that seem a little hokey to anyone else?

Maybe it's the accent. They do talk pretty cool.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Book Review: Paranormalacy

Thanks to Jannette Rallison's blog (author of My Fair Godmother, How to Take the Ex out of Ex-boyfriend), I found out about a little writers conference being held not too far from my humble home the end of this month. I say little conference because it's only one day. I plan on attending a "big" one that's three days long next month.

There are going to be 11 authors there! Yes, I'm very excited. The thing is, I didn't really know who they were. Not by name anyway. When I started looking their books up I recognized some of the covers. Two caught my eye. I purchased one.

It was the right one.

As I said in my last post I'm editing right now. Translation-no reading gets done. This is why. I sat down on Saturday to read a chapter or two just to clear my head a little. What should have been a rather productive day in editing ended up being me sitting on the couch reading for hours because I couldn't put the dang thing down.

I don't go into detail about what the book is about on here. If you really want to know go read the blurb, but if you're like me, you like to go in with as little information as possible. So I'll just say, it definitely had a Buffy vibe to it. Think season four. There were even some lines in there that I had to stop and say, I can totally hear Buffy saying that. But again, it was just a vibe. I never felt like Kiersten White was trying to copy.

It shifts about halfway through the book, and without giving anything away, the story is taken to a place I didn't really expect. It's all so very...normal. And in this genre, Paranormal Romance (emphases on the paranormal surprisingly), that's a little different. And yet you're still drawn on to find out what happens next.

The "love" story in this book was completely believable. It made me feel like I did in high school all giddy and ridiculous. It wasn't overdramatic as a lot of paranormal romances are. Not that there's anything wrong with that. I love the drama. It's just nice to read something that doesn't go there once in a while.

So, if you like demon hunting girls with strong personalities and cute shimmering boys- that last part is not what you think-you should read this. I plan on picking up the sequel at the conference and begging the author to tell me how she does it. That's not weird, is it?

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

I've spent the past several days editing my new MS and I wish I could say I got a lot done. Too bad. I'm only about forty pages in. That's what you get when you write like I do.

My first drafts tend to be on the short side. They're basically summaries with dialogue. But that's the way I have to do it if I ever want to write a book. But it got me wondering if I'm the only one who writes that way. Seriously, I have to do a page insert every other paragraph because I've thought of something else I forgot to put in. It's kind of exhausting. But at the same time... really cool.

In some ways editing is my favorite part of the entire process. I mean, you have these words in front of you and you read them over and then say, now how can I make this better? It's like an artist adding detail. All those finishing touches is what makes the story believeable. Or more importantly-to me anyway-the characters more believable. I'll admit I'm not the greatest self editor in the world, but I can see my story growing, developing into something better.

Seriously, who doesn't like to make things better?

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Book review: The Clockwork Prince

A long time ago I put this book on my waiting list. I loved the first one The Clockwork Angel, and couldn't wait to continue the story. It came out on December 6th. I couldn't read it until January 4th. Grrrr....

But! It was so worth the wait. I posted a review of it on goodreads so if you really want to know about how I feel, you can read it there. This post is a little more about comparing.

After reading the greatness that is Clockwork Prince I decided to finally read a book I won several months ago from the website imareadernotawriter. I'm not going to say the name of the book on here because honestly I don't have a whole lot to say that's positive. I know the author put a lot of time and effort into her book and judging by the reviews it received I guess it's just me who didn't like it.

So how are these two books alike? Not at all. The comparison is all about the detail. I've been told time and again that I don't give enough detail in my books. People want to know more about the surroundings and the characters themselves. I guess I'm kind of stingy that way and it's in large part to books like the one which shall not be named. I felt like that was the entire book. What every person was wearing. Every detail of the house, the yard, the dog. Okay, there wasn't a dog, but do you get what I mean? I got 100 pages in and all I knew about the story was what everyone looked like–the hot guy especially because I think there was a sonnet to his gorgiousness on every page–but not a whole lot about the story line. I got too frustrated and put the book down. (Actually I clicked exit)

The thing is, I wonder if I had read it at a different time I would have felt differently about it. But Cassandra Clare has this way of giving just enough description that you feel like you're a part of the world without making you feel like you're drowning in it. How does she do that? No seriously, how? Cuz I want to be like that.

I'm working on it. This isn't something that comes naturally to me. I wish there was some secret formula as to how to get the right amount of detail. I guess for now I'll settle for reading people who got it right.

Monday, January 9, 2012

New Year, New Me!

So, it's been a few months. How ya been? I'd like to give you some amazing tale of why I've neglected this blog, but the truth is, I'm just sorta lazy. I've neglected a lot of things though, if it makes you feel any better. Like doing any kind of book promotion whatsoever.

But this new year has brought back my desire. Desire to write, to edit, to create, to be a part of something. It's kinda nice.

First off, what I've been up to. In my last post I spoke of a book I was writing that is in no way, shape or form related to Akasha at all. That project tapered off. But by November I was ready to get it done. And I did! Even though I did not participate officially in Nanowrimo since I'd already started the project, it did motivate me to finish my latest book I have unofficially-for the time being-named SERENITY.

It has been a good project for me to work on I think. The story is very different from anything I've ever written before, and yes I am including all those silly romances I wrote in high school. I have begun editing it and hope I have a rather decent version of it by the time I go to a writers conference at the end of February. If I do, I'll have a chance to pitch the book to an editor. I am, of course, writing this publicly so I am committed to it now.

So I have been busy. Really busy in fact. And I'll get into what Serenity is about and all that later. This post is long enough, don't you think?