Sunday, 24 June 2012

Why Vampires/Werewolves/Faeries (???) should never be British

Honestly, I'm not uber-Patriotic or like, British-obsessed. I just wanted to share my thoughts on a few paranormal romance staples that just WOULDN'T work in Britain. I mean, I'm not a total expert, because I'm a contemporary kinda girl. And I'm not saying UK pnr romance writers are rubbish (I'm sure they're just as awesome as their US counterparts), just that our little isle is ill suited to shmexy vampire shparkleeee timez.

First of all, our town names are boring.

I've seen the summaries: "Someday Dreamer is just an average girl from Enchantment, Ohio". Or Paradise, Texas. Or Sunrise, Indiana.

Basically, US towns have these dreamy-sounding towns way more suited to witty little metaphors/titles/comments than the UK. Tell me this doesn't sound rubbish: "Anne Brown is just an average girl from Grimsby, Yorkshire." The closest we come to cool names is really grim (ha) ones like Black Dog and No Man's Land (both actual places). And Grimsby, and Hull.

Secondly, not many of us UK teens can drive. So no midnight car chases/hot pnr boy skidding into a car park to save us from thugs.

In the UK, driving age is seventeen. No practicing before that, and no going straight out in your car on your seventeenth birthday, because there is a crapload of paperwork to fill in and send off before you can actually drive.

Our streets are tiny and windy, so town/city dwellers don't usually bother to drive if there's nowhere to put their car.

Plus, insurance is shockingly expensive. So unless your boy was as rich as Midas/Edward Cullen, he would have to save you from the car park thugs (get me, Twilight reference) and then your romantic lunch would have to consist of Morrisons Bettabuy sandwiches and reduced Scotch eggs sitting in the car in said car park, because a romantic meal would probably be too expensive.

And most UK teens don't learn to drive till about 18, so that's another setback.

No ultra-expensive, super-fancy glass houses in the woods. Because you have to get planning permission for that sh*t.

And chances are, the woods are owned by some local farmer who doesn't want a wolf pack running through them, or some rich vampires setting up home there. You go climbing trees with Vampire boy, and he'll be down the bottom with his gun. Still, at least vampire boy'll be safe, because farmers don't tend to shoot silver bullets.

So that's it, people. Can anyone else think of reasons why the UK is totally unsuited to sparkley, bitey goings on?

And does anyone agree that Queen Elizabeth and Edward would make a TOTALLY awesome fan fiction? So long as Eddy doesn't eat the corgies...

Cover Lust Tues - okay, Sunday. The Statistical Probability Of Love At First Sight

So much to love.

The Vans trainers. The grass background (did I tell you I love grass backgrounds? I think it's the farmer in me). The pretty writing. That little aeroplane.

Granted, the guy's hairless legs are a bit weird, but still. I lust this cover.

Why did I buy the hardback?

Sorry I can't get a better, less pixelated picture, but I guess you'll have to buy it to find out.

The UK cover is rubbish, in my opinion. I probably wouldn't pick it up, if it was on a shelf in my local WHSmith. Here it is below to compare \/ \/ \/

What do you think? Do you guys love the first cover too? Or are you more of a fan of the UK one?

Saturday, 16 June 2012

Writing Brits (Limeys?) in YA

Finally, an advice post where I am a sort of expert in the matter! British and a teenager! This isn't random, by the way - it started with reading two books that made me think. I liked both books, and I'm lauding them as good examples, but let's just call them the 'Angsty Girl' book and the 'Aeroplane trip' book.

What have they got in common? A Brit boy love interest. Yeah, I'm going to focus on boys. It's more fun.

(come on, it's what we're all thinking. Yeah, I'm not the biggest Harry Styles fan)

Apparently, British boys are hot (the accent, etc). I'm kind of used to it, so it's not particularly exciting to me, but even I am not immune to the Mr Darcys - scratch that, Mr Tilneys - of this world. And, excluding Harry Styles/SuBo, I love One Direction.

And as a British reader of a lot of US YA, I find it frequently hilarious when the Brit boy becomes a combination of Prince William and Dick Van Dyke, constantly mentioning 'blokes' and such. So here is a list of five dos and don'ts for writing hot Brit boys...

5) Don't engineer situations for your Brit boy to 'show off' his dialect/language. Unlike the LI in 'aeroplane book', I have never once heard a boy call a fly a 'bloke'. It just doesn't work.

4) We're not all from London. Most of us Brits are actually from *gasp* other places. Also, in London there's accents other than cockney or hooray henry posh. I live four hours away from London, and I've only visited the place 4 times in my entire life.

3) One slang word I'd love to hear more of is 'fit'. Translation: Hot, stunning, great body. Works for girls too. i.e. "One Direction are so fit - shame about that minger Harry". So common is the UK that we don't use it to describe a well-exercised person anymore, in case they got the wrong idea. But good news, 'angsty girl' book mentioned it!

2) Brit boys do not wear suits as leisure wear. 'Angsty girl' book was guilty of this - the LI was always dressed in a skinny shirt/trousers/tie, always a bit rumpled etc. Yes, the majority of our schools wear uniform, granted. Consequently, then, boys don't fancy wearing ties in their time off. One Direction are the exception to this, because Simon Cowell wants them to be a brand. In reality, the boys I know wear Abercrombie/Hollister t-shirts (American), cream chinos or jeans, and Vans/Converse trainers (American).

1) There may only be about 60 million people in Britain, but only a tiny percentage of us have met the royals. Most teenage boys don't give a flying monkeys about Will or Kate. The only conversation I've ever overheard about the royal family between teenage boys went like this:

"You watch the royal wedding?"

"Yeah. Boring. Bride's sister was fit, though."

"Yeah! Her bum!" *lots of phwoars etc*

"Who would you snog, Kate or Pippa?"

*lots of umming and ahhing*

"Well, who?"

"Your mum."

Obviously this is a nice blog, so I've sanitised it a lot, but you get my drift.

If I sound patronising I don't mean to be - about 90% of my books are US YA - I just want to save American teen girls from coming over to England in their gap year after high school, and being thoroughly disappointed that none of the boys are wearing suits or chatting on their mobile phones to Princess Beatrice. And if a Brit boy calls you fit, you're in there...

What do you think? Ever read any brit boy love interests who've made you cringe? Which authors do it right? And which brit authors write Americans badly?

And finally, can anyone guess which books 'Aeroplane book' and 'Angsty girl book' are?

Saturday, 9 June 2012

Yay Awards! In the plural! And a video you HAVE to see

Well, I'm back! Internet is finally fixed, and current WIP is nearly 30,000 words...JuNoWriMo here I go!

Anyway, two lovely bloggers have nominated me for two lovely awards:

Sarah from Word (en)Count(ers) nominated me for the Reader Appreciation Award


Katharina from My Writing Journey nominated me for the Versatile Blogger award - so perhaps random rambling about the nineties and weird Harry Potter photos aren't totally pointless!

The photo above is my happy face (although technically it's not me, because then I would be a frightening freak baby who could type).

Because I'm not very good with this linking thing, I'm going to nominate seven bloggers overall (3 for one award, four for another), but first for the Reader Appreciation award I'm to tell you what I'm doing, writing wise.

Well, as I mentioned above, I'm about 3/5ths through my new WIP! happy times. If I could describe it, I'd say it's BEFORE I DIE meets THE SKY IS EVERYWHERE meets FIVE DAUGHTERS. If people don't know about five daughters, it's a UK drama aired a few years ago, about the five victims of a serial killer, all prostitutes - and how because of their profession, they got hardly any compassion from the press and public.
In my WIP, it's the older brother of the main character who has died, and she and her male best friend discover an unusual way to feel closer to him (no ghosts or vamps here).

And apparently for my Versatile Blogger award, I am going to share seven random facts about myself. I've done this recently, but I'll dredge up some more embarrassment ;) :
1) I can date costume dramas to the decade (or five years) by the costumes, and my current Shiny New Idea revolves around one...
2) My cats are called Fizz and Gripper, and Gripper is a total softie who got given the name because Dad wanted irony and a guard dog!
3) I'm obsessed with this folk singer called Seth Lakeman, who sings about Dartmoor. His playing gives me the chills, in a good way.
4) I've now officially left school *sadface*, which means I'm an adult and I have to leave home for university *even sadder face but with excited eyes*
5) I'm a MASSIVE Austen fan but I hate Pride & Prejudice. Elizabeth is too smirky, and Mr Darcy reminds me too much of Edward Cullen.
6) I lambed my first sheep at nine years old.
7) I spent most of my IT (computer) lessons writing books, but I still got an A grade #fluke

And my nominated bloggers are:

For the Versatile Blogger Award:

- Jaybird at Bird's Nest

- Carissa Taylor

- Daisy Carter at Fresh as A Daisy

And for the Reader Appreciation Award:

- Sarah at The Strangest Situation

Kyra Lennon at Write Here, Write Now

- a random one, and a fave, The Duchess of Devonshire's Gossip Guide to the 18th Century

- all the bloggers at YATopia

So, check all these blogs, people, because they are awesome.

And to leave you with a laugh, here is the best video you will ever see (although I'm biased, because I'm in it and helped make it). It's a parody of WHAT I GO TO SCHOOL FOR by Busted, which is all about the boys being in love with the hot teacher. We made it to celebrate the end of our Senior year, because we don't get graduation here in the UK. Of course, being us, our tutor group/form decided to make our video with our fifty something teacher, who is a total sport.

Look out for me, I dance on a table! Enjoy:

What do you think of our acting skillz?