I’m doing an experiment I learned from an SCBWI event on writing solid first chapters and knowing the expectations you’re setting for your reader. So I read Chapter One of Melissa Walker’s “Small Town Sinners” and this is what I know, all from one chapter. Great lesson!
* Lacey, 16, just got her license; wants a car
* Car = freedom to her
* Lacey never gets in trouble—calls herself a “good girl”
* She wants to be noticed, desired (her words)
* Wants space, “room to breathe”
* Lacey’s BFFs are close with her family
* BFF Starla Joy is a bit wreckless and a rebel
* BFF Dean—flannel shirts even in summer, used to be overweight and is sensitive about it. (gay?)
* Mom creates picture-perfect life
* Dad—children’s pastor. Tall
* New guy in town!
* Mention of Hell House but no explanation
All from one chapter, people, and it didn’t ever feel like info dumping.
Next up—let’s see if the author followed through on the information she gave us here.
In which I cry over every photo because I don’t live there anymore and miss all the fun events. #boohoo
A book I heard about on Twitter that’s getting tons of buzz for being, among other things, “sexy, foulmouthed, gritty, funny and achingly good.” What else do you want? Besides PW’s interview with author Rainbow Rowell.
This is cool not only because you get to read MORE of the awesome ANNA book, but because the author explains why it was cut, giving an insight into the editing and writing process.
Go forth and read the deleted chapter of ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS that Stephanie Perkins just posted! ARGH, are you just so excited or what?!
Teen author of the teen novel, “The Kissing Booth,” which began as a self-published book until it was snatched up by Randon House in a three-book deal, Beth Reekles shares some of her tips on writer’s block, what’s worth writing about, and wondering if anyone will ever read your stuff anyway. This is a smart girl!
Justina Chen is an award-winning novelist for young adults whose most recent book is RETURN TO ME, which Publishers Weekly called “an uplifting story.” North of Beautiful was named a Best Book of the Year by Kirkus and Barnes & Noble. Her other novels include Girl Overboard (a Junior…
I can’t stop loving Sarah Dessen. I suspect I’ll buy every book of hers (as I have so far) until she stops writing…which I hope will never happen.
"The Moon and More" doesn’t come out until June but she’s already started touring to support it. Here’s a snippet from the event, and on what the new book is about:
After sharing an excerpt, Dessen reflected on the inspiration for her latest work. “Each time, I think I’m never going to write another book. It never gets easier,” she said. “AfterWhat Happened to Goodbye [Viking, 2011], we went [on a vacation] to the beach and I was reading by the pool. This young, shirtless pool guy comes out and we have a big old conversation. He was so chatty and funny, and sweet and cute. I thought, there’s my next book: what is it like to be permanent in a town where everything is temporary?”
Lauren Myracle is one of my favorite authors. The New York Times has interviewed her on just why she is so controversial, and how her own kids handle her honesty.
Is it just because I’m an Army wife and more inclined to notice these things now, or is there a recent influx of young adult books with military themes? Even mainstream, award-winning author Ellen Hopkins has a military-themed book coming out later this year. (Although, this new novel is adult.)
Here are three that I’ve noticed so far: two upcoming and one already on shelves.
While He Was Away
One year—he’ll be gone for one year and then we’ll be together again and everything will be back to the way it should be.
The day David left, I felt like my heart was breaking. Sure, any long–distance relationship is tough, but David was going to war—to fight, to protect, to put his life in danger. We can get through this, though. We’ll talk, we’ll email, we won’t let anything come between us.
I can be on army girlfriend for one year. But will my sweet, soulful, funny David be the same person when he comes home? Will I? And what if he doesn’t come home at all…?
Something Like Normal
June 19, 2012
When Travis returns home from a stint in Afghanistan, his parents are splitting up, his brother’s stolen his girlfriend and his car, and he’s haunted by nightmares of his best friend’s death. It’s not until Travis runs into Harper, a girl he’s had a rocky relationship with since middle school, that life actually starts looking up. And as he and Harper see more of each other, he begins to pick his way through the minefield of family problems and post-traumatic stress to the possibility of a life that might resemble normal again. Travis’s dry sense of humor, and incredible sense of honor, make him an irresistible and eminently lovable hero.
November 13, 2012
Written in Hopkins’s stunning poetic verse style, Collateral centers on Ashley, an MFA student at San Diego State University. She grew up reading books and never dreamed she would become a military wife. One night she meets a handsome soldier named Cole. He doesn’t match the stereotype of the aggressive military man. He’s passionate and romantic. He even writes poetry. Their relationship evolves into a sexually charged love affair that goes on for five years and survives four deployments. Cole wants Ashley to marry him, but when she meets another man, a professor with similar pursuits and values, she begins to see what life might be like outside the shadow of war.
Collateral captures the hearts of the soldiers on the battlefield and the minds of the friends, family, and lovers they leave behind. Those who remain at home may be far away from the relentless, sand-choked skies of the Middle East and the crosshairs of a sniper rifle, but just the same, all of them will sacrifice a part of themselves for their country and all will eventually ask themselves if the collateral damage caused by war is worth the fight.
A writer friend told me of yet another book:
If I Lie
August 28, 2012
Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I think I adore Stephanie Perkins as much as Jennifer Echols and that’s saying a lot. I loved this book every bit as much as I did Perkins’ first book, “Anna and the French Kiss.”
I felt like the description of this book was a bit off, focusing too much on Lola the designer and Cricket the inventor. It’s so secondary. I loved that Lola is in a relationship with an older guy, I loved her parents, I loved the boy and his sister next door (although I was thinking book 3 could be about Calliope—don’t you want to know more about her?), I loved the setting of San Francisco and I loved the torment Perkins put Lola through. This was such a rich, well-rounded book and I couldn’t put it down from beginning to end.
I read it on my Kindle and am glad of that for one reason—the cover. I hate the cover! I’m sure the designer is a lovely person but this thing I just didn’t understand.
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