Friday, 27 April 2012

Oh, My Hero Bloghop!

First of all, thanks to the excellent Jaycee DeLorenzo and Victoria Smith for hosting this bloghop!

An another thanks to Kyra Lennon, because I saw her questions and I've sort of nicked them (hey, I'm no interviewer!).

My interview has taken been done in two sections, because unfortunately my hero Luke Gardener was kidnapped before I could finish the first lot. So the first three are 'Old-Luke' and the next three are 'New-Luke'. Sorry for any continuity issues ;)

This is Luke, btw. Say hi...

How would you describe yourself in one sentence?
Well...if I have to stick to one sentence, then I guess I'd say a witty, well loved, clever rugby star. And in a few years, I suppose I'll be a famous rugby player. Coach says I've got it in me.

How would you describe your heroine?
Which one? Ha, no, I'm joking. I haven't really got a heroine at the moment, but I'm not bothered. You can't have too much of a good thing. The only girl that doesn't fancy a cheeky snog with me is probably India Jeffries. Jeez, that girl hates me. I suppose I deserve it though.

Who's your (non-romantic) soulmate?
Easy. Although I'd have to pick two - Noah and Rachel. We are like...closer than family. Noah's the cool one, Rachel's the loyal one, and I'm the sporty one. Oh, and apparently the slutty one, according to Rachel.

(Five months later, after a kidnap ordeal which left Noah dead and Rachel still missing.)

Hi again, Luke!
Um...hello. This isn't g-going to be long, is it? I'm still s-struggling a bit...with my speech and stuff. The doctor said it was all in my m-mind, though.

Okay - so what's your biggest ambition?
To find Rachel. N-nothing else matters. Screw rugby. Screw everything.

If you had a dark secret, who would you tell it to?
Wait, what? I-is this a joke? Are you -
Okay, I guess I'd t-tell it to India. I can trust her.

And finally, if you could sum up your heroine in five words?
You mean India, right? Strong, wild, stubborn, independent and striking.

Well, thanks for talking to me, Luke! I hope you find Rachel.
S-so do I.


So Luke and India and their story are out in the big wide world, and hopefully one agent will bite.

What do you think? Do you like Luke or loathe him? Or something in between?

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Girls Writing Boys - Top 4

So I love boy POV books. Like, really love them. Heck, I've even had a go at writing one (although that was m/f dual POV, so I took the easy option!).
It's pretty cool getting a look into boys minds, whether they're troubled or in love or in hate - it totally changes the story, the POV. Books by authors like John Green and the author I'm reading at the moment, Albert Borris, are brilliant, but they knew what it was like to be a boy anyway. It's even better, IMO, when a boy POV book is written by a woman. And if the boy isn't just like a girl with different *ahem* bits.
So here are my top four - read them, and love them, people! They were really hard to choose between but I did my best

She was going to be on there somewhere. The woman that wrote Jonathan Meredith. Oh, and Patrick Pennington and Peter McNair, and a ton of others. She's got a talent in writing characters that are polar opposites. Jon and Pat, if they met, would probably despise each other. But each rings true, and she manages to make them current even though the majority of her books were written 40-50 years ago.
Book you have to try: Prove Yourself a Hero, for Jonathan and Peter.

Nearly my no.2, for good reason. Jonah McNab is a heartbreaking character, and I love the fact that she writes in boys POV almost all the time. And I can't wait for Gone, Gone, Gone....
Book you have to try: Break, for Jonah and Jesse.

Aside from the boys POV, Shattering Glass haunted me for weeks. Especially since I did that thing I always do, and 'assigned' the characters faces (if a description sounds like, say, Justin Bieber, then the character is JB in my head). If anyone knows about Brit boyband One Direction, then you'll know Harry Styles, the annoying lead singer (who can't sing) - I assigned his face to evil Rob, and now I can't disassociate the two :/... But anyway, Young's voice is so real, and although he's an anti-hero, I still really feel for him and his plight.
Book you have to try: She's written other great books, but for me it's Shattering Glass all the way.

and....dun dun duuuuuuh.....

I may not be in love with him like K.M. Peyton's Jonathan, but Nick Geddes is one of my favourite characters ever. Smart, funny, tough and vulnerable at the same time, he's a great character. As are her other characters, male and female.
Book you have to try: Crossing The Line - ooh, and I love the little romance too!

So that's it, people! What do you think? Has anyone read any really well-written boy POV books by women (or men) recently? And do you think it's harder to write boys as a woman, or girls as a man?

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Cover Lust Tuesday: Glimpse by Carol Lynch Williams

I've been looking up pretty covers for my A-Level Art coursework, and when I found this one I knew I had to do a Cover Lust Tuesday for it. Isn't it gorgeous? And I'm also glad it's not a 'pouty girl/dead girl with a pretty dress' cover, because there are too many of them around (not that it's the author's fault, and some are really pretty, but still). If you're interested in that whole debate, check out YAtopia's great post on the subject.
So do you like Glimpse's cover? And, as a little aside, can anyone think of any ah-mazing books with covers that don't do them justice?

Thursday, 12 April 2012

I Rocked the YA Book Drop!

First of all, happy Support Teen Lit day! I only found out about the readergirlz YA book drop yesterday, but I thought it was a great idea, so I printed out the label, stuck it inside RICHES by Megan Cole, and rocked the drop!

It's Easter holidays here in England, so I didn't bother dropping off my book near any schools - I chose a nice bench on the quayside, where it wouldn't get rained on. And two hours later, when I was gone! Hopefully to someone who will drop by and comment (I left my blog address in there, so you never know!).

Here's a couple of pictures of the book drop. First of all, here is my little sister (hey, Ruth!) holding up the book by the river, with all the fancy yachts behind her:
And here's a [rubbish] picture of the book on its bench (please excuse the bad photo-taking - my sister is the photographer in our family):

Has anybody else 'rocked the drop' today?

Sunday, 8 April 2012

Sunday Seven: Books I Can't Wait To Read

First of all, Happy Easter! I love Easter, for many reasons religious, chocolate egg-related or otherwise, but it does mean that with the plethora of bank holidays, the books I've ordered on Amazon won't be here for a while yet :(
So I'm gonna do a Sunday Seven/Waiting on Wednesday mash-up. Here are the books I've ordered, and I just can't wait to read:
THE DUFF by Kody Keplinger - I've wanted to read this since fellow AWer Kody published it, but I waited till it came out in the UK (oh, how I waited). And the author was only 17 when she wrote it! Gives me hope :)

DOING IT by Melvin Burgess - Arrgghhh, boys' POV. I LOVE boys' POV. And it's multi-POV too. Arrgghhh! Plus, the plot sounds well good. And Melvin Burgess is a fantastic author.

THE OPPOSITE OF AMBER by Gillian Phillip - Fist of all, can I say that I am a little obsessed with Gillian Phillip. She is soooooo good at characterisation (Nick, the protag of her YA book CROSSING THE LINE, is conflicted and hurt and funny and so so real - totally my favourite MC of all time). And, TOoA is a murder mystery - brilliant.

CRASH INTO ME by Albert Borris - four teens on a suicide road trip + boy POV = enough said. Intriguing and tragic - my sort of book.

INSIDE by Julia Jarman - I don't know this author, but I bought INSIDE on impulse, because I love prison books. This is set in juvie, and looks like a good read.

And for the other two, books I haven't ordered but can't wait to buy when they're out in the UK/the price is right:

I HUNT KILLERS by Barry Lyga - I've chosen the ARC cover because it's my favourite - reminiscent of Dexter (which is a theme of the book, so yeah). Son of serial killer hunts another serial killer, but is he what he seems? I'm worried that all these death books make me sound bloodthirsty, but I grew up on a diet of car boot sale 1960s pony books, so y'know, it was a natural progression :)

PLEASE IGNORE VERA DIETZ by A.S. King - Another murder mystery - and it. Looks. Great.

So, has anyone read these books? Am I in for a treat, Easter reading-wise? And do you have a genre you always go back to/love to read (like me and murder mysteries)?

Friday, 6 April 2012

What's in a [character] Name?

Before I ever started writing, I loved art. When doing exam revision, I'm a 'visual learner' (aka pictures help me more than pnumonics or whatever). This means that reading books is sometimes difficult if one of the characters has a strange name, or one I associate with someone else.

Let me explain. Last week, I read FRACTURE by Megan Miranda. Great book, great characters, but the main character's best friend is called DECKER. I don't know if it's popular in America, but in the UK, 'Decker' = Double Decker Buses and Decker Bars. I couldn't really take him seriously after that.

And then there was the other boy - Troy. Yes, Zac Efron featured heavily in my mind when reading Fracture (not a bad thing, but y'know).

And then I read THE STATISTICAL PROBABILITY OF LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT. The main character, Hadley (female) falls in love with Oliver (male). I enjoyed it twice as much because I laughed almost the whole time, even at the unfunny bits. Why? Because there's a pair of beefy 'jock' male twins at my school called...yep, you've guessed it, Hadley and Oliver. Hadley's a rare, but definitely male name, in the UK. An ordinary plane-trip romance became suddenly hilarious, and at least three-quarters of my friends have now read it for the LOLs.

Has anyone else read a book where the names totally change it? Or where you had to stop because the love interest sounded like a carbon copy of your brother (ick)? And what are some of your favourite names in YA fiction, funny or otherwise?

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Where do you get your writing inspiration?

Crazy as it seems, I get my writing inspiration from the weather. I mean, there are other things too, like other books, faces in crowds, newspaper or television programmes (more on this later). But the weather can give me an idea for a WIP when nothing else can.

I write Contemporary YA fiction, and the setting, the characters' little world plays an important part in their lives. For example The Brightest Fell is set in a small, Somerset (Southern England) town, in particular the dull, apparent safety of the suburbs. But the town is right next to thick, dark woodland, which is almost a character in the book (the woodland=the place where bad shiz happens). And it's October, and always raining.

That sets a totally different scene than a book set in a thriving city or swelteringly hot beach, and I found I got most of my inspiration when it was raining. Considering I live in England, I therefore got plenty of story-planning time...

On the flip side, my current WIP is set in an isolated rural village in the middle of a hazy summer heatwave, so I don't expect to get much weather inspiration on that.

Plenty of people say they get inspiration from the news, whether its a person or a situation. The character of Luke Gardener (male main character of TBF) and his plight started when I watched the horrific story of the Chandlers, a couple who were taken hostage by Somali Pirates and held for months and months before they were rescued. It made me think, what if that had happened to a teenager? What if it wasn't on a boat, but somewhere safe and close to home he was taken from? And what if, unlike the Chandlers, he didn't get a hero's welcome, because he wasn't necessarily a hero?

So the whole point of this post is, even random things like the weather can give you inspiration. I don't get good ideas very often, so take everything I say with a pinch of salt, but I wouldn't worry about getting new WIP ideas all the time. They might even come to you when you're eating WagonWheels and hot chocolate in front of the telly...

Where do you get your inspiration? Any crazy, random things that make you think? And is anyone else obsessed with WagonWheels?

Liebster Love!

Yay - my first blog award! A while back, the lovely Carissa Taylor tagged me for a Liebster Blog Award, and being the forgetful, stressed-out A-Level student that I am, I've only just got round to posting this now - sorry Carissa! Apparently, the word “liebster” is German and means “favorite, beloved, dearest”. It's given to favorite blogs that motivate and inspire us, and have less than 200 followers.

Accepting the award involves:
1. Show thanks to the blogger who awarded you by linking back to their blog.
2. Pick 5 blogs with less than 200 followers and let them know about your nomination by leaving a comment on their blog
3. Post the award on your blog!

And here's my problem: My ancient PC won't let me see how many followers each blog has - so I have no way of knowing the amount of followers everyone has. There are so many totally awesome bloggers out there with less than 200, but until I can upgrade this pile of junk there's not much I can do :(

So anyone with less than 200 followers who follows me and is reading this, feel free to tag yourself as my Liebster awards!