Sunday, October 31, 2010

Reading list

Still chewing my way through Book 2. This will probably be my status for a while. :)

In the meantime, I thought I'd post a list of the books I'm currently reading. I used to read one book at a time, finishing it completely before moving on to another--but lately I find that I tend to have several going at once, and hop between them depending on whatever mood I'm in for the day. So here's my list as of now:

1. The Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare: Well yeah. It's Cassie Clare. I used to read her fanfic way back in high school....and now, to read her stories set in her own original worlds, I'm filled with ridiculous glee. I luff Jem. I alternate between love and hate for Will. And Cassie's worldbuilding puts me to shame. I bet she knows things about 19th century London that 19th century Londoners didn't even know.

2. The Scorch Trials by James Dashner (Sequel to The Maze Runner): I always feel giddy whenever I fall for a series before it hits the bestseller lists--that feeling you get when you really like a small indie band, and then they hit the big times and you get to be smug with your friends like you're the one who first discovered them. :) I kinda felt that way when I fell in love with The Hunger Games before it became popular. In the same vein, I picked up The Maze Runner long before it hit the NYT List just because I thought the title sounded interesting and I liked the cover. I devoured it. And now that Scorch Trials has hit the NYT in its opening week, I like to sit back and think happily, "I was an original fan!"

3. The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde: Ok, so this is an oldie. But I had a craving for some Dorian Gray and am reading back over it. Even though it's written back in like, caveman days, it still has all the hallmarks of a great story. Tension in the very first chapter. Building up intrigue about our main character (Dorian) before introducing him, something I love seeing in books. And a main character who has a truly epic character development arc--going from naive boy with no idea how beautiful he is, to a monster taking advantage of everyone for his own pleasure, to a bitter and remorseful man. Aaagh love. <3

4. Ash by Malinda Lo: Just got this. I've been wanting to read this one for a while--I'm always up for a fairy tale retelling, especially one with writing that has some of Jacqueline Carey's loveliness in it. :) I read the first paragraph and just about melted into the beauty of it. It's like reading Patricia McKillip. Like jewels wet with rain. Gah. I wish I could write like this.

I'm also in dire need of some books that aren't out yet--namely, Matched (by Ally Condie), and Across the Universe (by Beth Revis). Lots of dystopians. I need my dystopian fix. How do so many people get their hands on ARCs of these amazing books?? I am not special enough to get them early, I guess. Sadness. :(

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Adventures of Book 2

I'm about a third of the way into Book 2 (about 30,000 words), and I'm discovering all sorts of interesting things about characters I thought I knew but have darker sides than I realized. This is one of my favorite and most nervewracking parts of the writing process. Even when I make a plot outline to follow, I find myself constantly straying from it because halfway through a chapter, something will happen and one of my characters will go "Hold on, I'm not going to say that. That's not who I am. I'm going to do THIS instead." And he/she will go off and do something that completely shocks me. Today is full of this sort of craziness. One of my characters has mutinied against me, and become something I didn't realize he/she could be. Weird. O_o

It solved a few plot problems I was having, but added new ones in the process. So I stopped writing for now, and for the next few days I'm going to do some plotting again to see if I can find my way back to something that makes sense. :) Hopefully in time for NanoWriMo. I highly doubt I'll be able to finish Nano, but I'd really really like to finish my first draft of Book 2 by the end of this year so I have some leeway to knock it into something presentable by the time my due date (April-ish of next year) rolls around!

In other news, Boyfriend and I were driving around this afternoon when he saw a big "Meg 2010" (i.e. Meg Whitman) campaign poster in a store window:

Boyfriend: Look. Meg 2010.
Me: MiG 2010? Ooooh, is that a new model? Where?
Boyfriend: ... No. MEG WHITMAN 2010.
Me: *utter disappointment* Oh. Not a new Russian fighter jet?
Boyfriend: Sometimes I wonder about you.

I ended up watching videos all afternoon of Russian fighter jets and listening to the Top Gun anthem. Then I ate a lot of pistachios. And that rounds out my writing day. :) (If my boss is reading this, I also did all of my day job work. Diligently. Scout's honor.)

And of course I leave you with one of the best anthems evar:

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Just one of those days

Today is such a writer's block day. It's so heavily a writer's block day that it's not even funny. I wrote 600 words, then trashed them in exasperation. Then I skipped ahead a chapter and wrote another couple hundred words, and trashed them too. Finally managed to squeeze out about 400 halfway decent words, but I may very well read them tomorrow morning and find that they also suck, and throw them into the raging inferno as well.

Closed Word in a cranky huff. Then went online and bought two pairs of ankle boots.

It's just one of those days....

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Clearing up a misconception

With every announcement, there will inevitably be some misconceptions and rumors that arise. For me, most of the things about my book deal for LEGEND are true, but there is one misconception that I keep seeing, and I thought I should probably set the record straight on it before it keeps going! :)

Honest Misconception: LEGEND was sold because of its accompanying Facebook app, i.e. LEGEND the Facebook App came before LEGEND the Book.

What actually happened: LEGEND was a book before it became anything else. I wrote it between April - October 2009. Then, while my agent worked with me on revisions for it and we prepared it for submission, I used my free time to create a Facebook app for the book. It helped me stay in the world of the novel, while also letting me take a break from writing. It did manage to accumulate a few users (although, to be quite honest, 13,000 registered app users for any Facebook app is a fairly modest number), but when Agent Kristin and I started making the submission rounds and we talked on the phone with interested editors, none of them cared about the Facebook app--which is the way it should be. The book had to interest them first and foremost. If the editors didn't like the book, no Facebook app would make them want to buy it (unless, perhaps, it had 100 gazillion users like FarmVille). Only after the book sale happened did Putnam (my awesome publisher!) have interest in the Facebook app and how it could help promote the book. Which, again, is the way it should be. Anything LEGEND-related is subordinate to the book, and exists only to help promote the book itself.


Anyway, I just wanted to make sure I posted that up for the interwebz. :)