Friday, July 30, 2010
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
1.) Get a pint of ice cream.
2.) Follow the amazing UP TO THE MINUTE Official Conference Blog with behind the scenes information at: http://scbwiconference.blogspot.com You won't miss a thing.
3.) Dust of your twitter and follow hashtag: #LA10SCBWI
4.) Stay tuned on this blog for late night and party pics. Shenanigans!!
5.) Stay in your pajamas all day and ENJOY!!!
I hope you can all be a part of this! Feel free to email or comment or send me your questions or requests via twitter, and I'll see if I can fulfill them. Want to see a picture of a debut author scarfing down a taco? I'm on it! Want to see what a faculty dinner looks like after the bar closes? ON IT!
And if you will be at the conference, be sure to hit me up! I'll be in the lobby. You know where ;-)
Spread the word about the Conference Blog!!
And I'll be seeing you soooooooon! (if I survive the plane flight)
Monday, July 26, 2010
Today's topic? BOOK COVERS!!!! (and for the record, my top two are Hush, Hush and City of Bones) :-) Have at it, Kari!
Admit it, we all judge books by their cover. Yes, the premise has to back it up but when looking at books on a shelf, the first ones you pick up are the ones with the covers that attract you.
There’s been plenty of times I’ve read a book that I really enjoyed and mentioned it to a friend and the first thing they say is not about whether they want to read it, but that the cover isn’t great. Following that line of thought… okay, it negates that last part. I’m not going to tell you what books are great with not so great covers. Nope. I’m going to tell you the top ten best YA covers, in my little Kari opinion. Even better- I haven’t even read all of these. I just like the covers. And yes, this post was even harder to decide on than my hot boys or girls.
10. The Devouring by Simon Holt:
First off, I like the dark colors of the purple and black. The purple isn’t grabbing, but it’s there. The face seems simple at first, till you realize she’s been crying. That adds a new level. When you look even closer, you realize the purple isn’t ribbon or string, it’s more like a smoke/mist. Though I admit, the UK of this book is pretty awesome too, it’s more in the style of horror. This one is nice and pretty…. And misleading from the creepfest the book actually is.
9. Devil’s Kiss by Sarwat Chadda:
This one has a certain level of badassery inherent in the cover alone. Pretty girl in a dress… with a sword? Sign me up. Boy in the background watching- maybe stalking- her and obscured by a light coming through the trees? Well heck, I’m intrigued now. Not to mention the darker colors. And hey, I haven’t even read this one. (But it’s on my shelf, so that totally counts…)
8. Forget You by:
This one is pure sex appeal. Cute boy, pretty girl… close to kissing. The romantic in me (I know, hard to believe, but it’s there) gravitated toward this cover. Yes, there’s going to be drama and angst but the cover is telling you it’s a romance. This is also one where the cover depicts the characters really well- I can imagine Doug looking like him, and she was how I easily pictured Zoey (and not only because of the cover…). Now if I could just figure out how to replace her, I’d be set.
7. Knight Angels: Book of Love by Abra Ebner:
I really love the font the title is written in for this one, and that it is one of the most prominent aspects of the cover. I also love the image itself- the dark, gray sky amidst the very green grass… and how you don’t see all of the girl. Her outfit is different and I love the set of her lips and the flower. This is definitely an appealing cover.
6. Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins:
At first glance, this cover is pretty simple. A girl standing in front of her reflection… wait. The reflection is different. Then you realize how snazzy that is. Not to mention, the top part is more muted and simple than the bright blue lake and vivid green dress . Two very different sides of one girl and the cover depicts it perfectly.
5. Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick:
I’m not sure much explanation is needed on this one. Hot, half naked angel boy… great dark colors with a splash of red and even a little bit of shininess. I also like that the wings are not overdramatic- they are simple and small but get the job done (even though he’s falling…)
4. City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare:
All three of The Mortal Instruments books have great covers but this one is my favorite. Yes, City of Bones ran a close battle but it would have won only because of the hot naked boy… But City of Ashes has great coloring but then the bright red, almost flaming hair. The blurred out nature of the torso and the few Marks fits are all beautiful together.
3. The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff:
This one hits on the creep factor. There is nothing easy and luring about this one. Those kind of baby carriages, for some reason, automatically make me think Exorcist and. And now it’s on a book, sitting in heavy clouds/fog but a leafless tree… and under a mobile of death. Do I need to know what this one is about? Nope. The cover is enough.
2. The Ghost and the Goth by Stacey Kade:
The colors on this one are the most notable. It is an absolutely gorgeous cover, not to mention the boy and girl fit perfectly for Alona and Will. I love that the girl is solid at the head and fades to being a ghost… and the boy is dressed in his usual emo-Goth outfit and looking away from her (and probably trying hard not to think about the fact that her legs and butt are touching him…).
1. Nightshade by Andrea Cremer:
Yes, it’s a little bit sparkly. But this cover is a great example of simplicity. Girl holding flowers. That’s it. Okay, she’s got purple hair and a purple hue to her skin… with yellow eyes and a surprisingly piercing stare even on a book cover. And the flowers might kill you. But it’s still a simple concept, made beautiful by the colors, way it’s been cropped, and the title itself fits seamlessly into it. This is a cover that screams awesome book. No, don’t read the premise. You don’t need to. Think how pretty this book will be on your shelf!
Thanks, Kari! I'll tell ya, I'm looking forward to the hottest kisses post! AFTER SCBWI!!!! Go Team Blog!!!
Thursday, July 22, 2010
And then I did something I've never done before... I went horseback riding on the ranch. I'm not going to lie, I wasn't a fan. I spent the entire time alternating between absolute terror and controlled fear. But you know what, my kids LOVED IT! And the scenery was breathtaking.
I was a little sore after... but nothing a good drink couldn't take care of. Speaking of which, it's Wedding time!!! Joseph's favorite part was getting to dress like a spy. James Bond to be exact.
Introducing Jennifer and Andrew Young!!!
The place was so fancy, I even tried the wine!
But then I went back to what I know:
Next post... shenanigans.
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
We traveled down to Monterey, California to attend the most amazing wedding EVER!!! YAY Jen and Drew!!!!
To get there we had to survive the car ride... which involved a lot of puke.
When we finally hit Monterey, Jesse needed a shot. So he grabbed the first thing available:
Then we just got silly:
The next morning was a little tough, but we still managed to hang out at Cannery Row.
It was so fantastic, I didn't want to leave Monterey!! But... we had to get to Carmel. Which I'll tell you more about next post!!!
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
And then he went outside while I continued to tweet. He came back in, and when I looked over, he had a dozen roses. Um, what? Normally this may cause an Awwwww reaction. But I've been writing and revising and staying indoors to the point of paranoia. My reaction was:
Oh, God. What did I forget? Shit. What month is it? Oh my God.
To which he laughed and handed me a card. The front of which read: To My sweet, sweet, lovely, hot, sexy, super cool, smart (but not in a nerdy way) wife.
Seriously? What the hell happened? Did you lose your job? Shit!
He went outside again. At this point I'm frantically looking around for clues. Birthday? No. Anniversary? No. WHAT IS GOING ON?
He came inside with cupcakes. Which should have been the biggest Awww.... My reaction?
Listen. I'm not effing around anymore! What's happened!!!!!!!
So... yeah. It was a "just because I'm awesome" kind of day for him. But I was frantic. What a way to confuse your wife.
Monday, July 12, 2010
So here's where things get really strange: It happened to my four times last week. In the past two weeks I've read eight books. Not sure why, but I got this crazy buzz and began devouring books. And now, because it's so unusual I have to tell you about the books and beg you to buy them because they are that awesome!!!
First up... ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS. *dies from love. This book... Oh THIS BOOK! I am a sucker for romance. I'm not ashamed to admit that a romantic YA book will always take my top spot--I am mushy like that! But ANNA is so much more. It's funny--hilarious really--and my favorite thing about it is that everyone seemed real. In fact, when I finished I cried because I knew I was going to miss them. Like actual friends. It is THAT GOOD. It also doesn't come out until December, so make sure to preorder it now HERE and follow the amazingly talented author Stephanie Perkins HERE. My love interest: St. Clair
Next, I'm not sure what took me so long to read this, but on a whim I picked up THE DEMON'S LEXICON. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! HOLY HELL IT'S AWESOME! Everything about it, the relationship between the brothers, the action, the bit of romance. And the ending floored me. I read until 5am, then at noon (after passing out for a while) I ran out and got the second one THE DEMON'S COVENANT and loved it EVEN MORE!! I'm not sure that I can wait until the next one. The writing is beautiful, the characters are complicated and strong and amazing. And the author Sarah Rees Brennan is DAMN FUNNY! My love interest: Nick
Finally, I got really lucky. I fell in love with a book, and the next few books in the series are ALREADY OUT!! CITY OF BONES by Cassandra Clare made me a crazy person. I'm not going to say why, but I was so so so shocked by the end of book one that I had to get the sequel immediately. CITY OF ASHES was even better!! I loved it! The characters and plot are so interesting, I couldn't help but turn the page frantically. And the love interest, JACE, has to be one of my favorites ever. The humor is perfect, the setting amazing. I have the third one here right now, so I won't be writing this week either. But you know what, I won't feel guilty because I love this series so much! My Love interest: Jace, of course.
So those are my book recommendations. I don't give them very often, but these were the books that I absolutely couldn't put down. YOU HAVE TO READ THEM. Then email me to talk about them. Then I'll email back. Then maybe we can make some weird role playing game so we can make the stories live on in the real world---okay, wait. That might be taking it too far. But we'll see. ;-)
Can you recommend something awesome this week???
Friday, July 9, 2010
What do you think? Who would be on YOUR list?
Take it away, Kari:
I thought it was only fair to give some attention to our hot girls in YA. The exist. They drive a lot of the kick butt books we love. Maybe we focus on and drool over the boys… but there’s room for the girls. And here is the ten hottest chicks in YA, as dubbed by me and based on books I’ve read.
10. Tessa (The Naughty List by Suzanne Young): Sure, many girls get a hotness level based on their badassery. And yeah, Tessa is a little bad ass. Excuse me. She’s strawberry smoothie. But face it. She bagged Track Pants Boy, she can do a mean herkie, and is a ninja spy that looks good with a fannypack. She also gains power from a cheer skirt. That’s right. Fantasies spark because every guy (and yes a few of you ladies) want a girl in a cheer skirt.
9. Meg (Going Too Far by ): She has blue hair. Do you really need anything else? She’s got looks, despite the hair and piercings. She’s well controlled, even when she’s doing something stupid. Hey, she knows it’s stupid but she’ll do it anyhow. She’ll challenge you. Make you work for it. Push you to your limits. And bring some pretty darn good spark to your life.
8. Brittany (Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles): She’s got great, ahem, assets. Okay fine, Brittany’s downright hot. Maybe a little stuck up and air headed but plenty of boys dig that. Not to mention, there is a brain in that pretty little head of hers. She also knows how to handle the Fuentes boys which takes a certain kind of woman. This mamacita would make a good trophy wife… she just wouldn’t stand for being one.
7. Katniss ( by Suzanne Collins): Team Peeta or Team Gale? Who cares. Katniss doesn’t need either one. She’d wear the pants in the relationship anyhow. She’s the girl on fire. She’s the girl who outsmarted her opponents. She’s the girl who survived the effin Hunger Games. Face it. This girl would run any guy into the ground and still come out on top.
6. Jacinda (Firelight by Sophie Jordan): She’s a half dragon. Is anymore needed? She breathes fire. She’s downright beautiful by human and draki standards. Besides, when a book starts with the hot protag getting naked with another girl…? Uh huh. I just got your attention, didn’t I? In her defense, she was about to go all kick butt draki and clothes don’t quite accommodate wings. Jacinda can take care of herself but she wouldn’t mind a little loving. Just don’t make her mad; she’ll blow steam out her nose and burn you.
5. Isabel (Shiver/Linger by Maggie Stiefvater): There’s a sweet, sensitive, caring girl in there. Just dig a little. Little more. No, a little- there you go. Yeah, see? She’s in there. But apart from that, though it is an extra perk to get through the hard candy shell to the sweet center… Isabel is hot. Isabel is blunt. Isabel will tell you if you don’t measure up. She’ll hold her ground for what she wants. She’ll wear the pants- and strip you of yours for enjoyment. She’s also a damn fine kisser.
4. Dru (Strange Angels by ): Dru ranks on badassery alone but she’s definitely got the looks going too. Sure, she gets scared and screams like a girl but she still fights the beasties. She thinks on her feet even when she’s freaking out. She can take on a school full of blood driven, horny boys. She might be developing an appreciation for the smell of apple pie. And she ties people up in their underwear.
3. Rose (Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead): All the boys want her- human and vampire alike. She’s got curves. She’s tan. She’s a pretty classic beauty. And she’s feisty, snarky, and sarcastic. She’s a fantastic fighter and fears very little. Those tattoos? Yes. They’re hot. They’re also proof of just how freaking bad ass she is. Admit it girls, even you want a piece of this. She also knows how to move… and not only in battle.
2. Isabelle (The Mortal Instruments by Cassie Clare): She’s got the looks. She’s got the screw you attitude. She’s also a bad ass fighter, devoted to her family and loves her brother like a mama bear on crack. Mostly stuck up but if you chip away at her, you’ll find some warm, gooey goodness. You just might need a few thousand pounds of dynamite to get there. Oh. And she has a whip and knows how to use it.
1. Ridley (Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl): Ridley would turn a gay man straight and a straight woman gay. She’s a five alarm fire and about as hot and out of control as you can get. In fact, I think she might spark some girl love from Rosalie Hale. She’s just that hot. Even Lucifer would crumble before this wicked little seductress. Mix the looks with the evil, throw in the sexy clothes and awesome tattoo and finish it off with the lollipop in her mouth? Ladies, hide your husbands and protect their manhood. And wipe their mouth. They’re drooling.
Thanks, Kari! I have to say, I'm a huge fan of Dru from Strange Angels. But there are so many great characters I could never choose a favorite!
Now for comments. Who would you add?
Thursday, July 8, 2010
You all know how much I love romance in books. So Kari over at A Good Addiction has written up a list of the hottest guys in YA.
Who would you add to the list????
I’m taking over Suzanne’s Blog today to tell you guys about my Top Ten YA Boys. Keep in mind, this is based off books I’ve read… and debated. And did some more debating. And when I thought I had it, I debated some more and this is what I’m finalizing. In order, counting down to my number one hottie in YA:
10. Mason (The Lighter Side of Life and Death by CK Kelly Martin): Mason is sixteen. He snags a twenty-three year old (legal in Canada, mind you). That in itself is pretty BAMF to me. But beyond that, he’s attractive. He’s awkward at all the right places. He’s cocky and confident on the outside when he’s quivering on the inside. He’s sweet. He’s funny. He’s a great blend of mature and naïve. He might make me feel like a cougar.
9. Graves (Strange Angels by Lili St. Crow): Kinky. Tied up. Dom/sub. Out of context (maybe even in context), things like this make Graves awesome. He’s cute in an emo boy kind of way. He faces some pretty shocking things with Dru. And he comes out pretty on top, usually. He’s a wingman but a darn sexy one at that. He’s there when he needs to be, there when he doesn’t need to. He’s just there. And his personality and sense of humor are great. He’s much more on the sweet side. And I want him. Possibly on a leash…
8. Oscar (Everlasting by Angie Frazier): Sailor Boy. He’s intense in all the right ways. He’s got his sarcasm and he is great with the quips. Also, he’s downright sexy. Working on a ship all the time? That boy has muscles. And definition. And looks darn good with no shirt on. He’s a gentleman at the right times. He brings sexy to the working class. Did I mention he’s a sailor?
7. Doug (Forget You by Jennifer Echols): He’s been to juvie. Bad boy? Check. He gets mad over stupid things. Temper? Check. Heart broken at least once? Check. Doug is an enigma. Doug is the boy all the girls want to kiss but no one will admit to. Doug just might be a very great kisser. Doug is a loner which gives him an instant air of intrigue. Doug throws himself into situations and gets unsure when it doesn’t go like he imagined. Also, Doug is sexy. And a little coy. But mostly sexy.
6. Will (Firelight by Sophie Jordan): Sexy Man Musk Hunter Boy. As someone who’s life revolves around hunting Draki, the sexy bad boy is inherent. But then… we actually get to know him and holy crap this boy is a whirlwind of amazing. He fights against what he wants and what he has to do. He fights against what others ask of him. He might have some stalkerish tendencies. He might be downright sexy and tormented and adorable all rolled into one musky package. I might want to get close to that sexy man musk after a hunt. I might want to watch him hunt. Especially if that hunt means shirtless Will.
5. Lend (Paranormalcy by Kiersten White): Half-Water Boy. He is about as unique and original as characters come these days in the fantasy/supernatural YA genre. That in and of itself gives him a high level of hotness. Then we really meet him. And woo! This boy is something. Can I really describe him without giving much of the book away? Maybe not. But let’s just say this: pink cowboy boots. Lockers. Also, his ability could lend to some fantastic things… oh yes. This boy, truly, is the definition of all things sexy and manly and desirable. And oh so adorably awkward. More uncomfortable than cocky but Lend still has his moments. Sometimes I want to hug him. Sometimes I want to kiss him. Sometimes… well. You get it.
4. Jasper (Twilight by Stephenie Meyer): That’s right. I went there. Jasper was my first YA fangirl crush. Forget Edward and Jacob. I’ll take the Southern Gentleman. And okay yes, he may have tried to eat Bella just a little. But that wasn’t because he’s mean. Think about it- he loves Alice so deeply and unendingly that he suffers constantly with the vegetarian diet so they can live with the Cullens. I’ll take that kind of devotion any day. Not to mention, he’s an empath… and I have so many good uses of that. But we won't go there right now.
3. Alex (Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles): Alex is the epitome of sensitive bad boy. I admit it. He makes me want a Latino Gangbanger of my own. Seriously, when he slips into the English/Spanish mix? Oh good gracious. That just might beat my Southern Gent thing and that’s hard to do. Oh wait. It does beat it since Jasper is above this. Alex is just downright sexy. Built. Got the looks. Got the cocky attitude. But then you get under that and he’s sweet and loyal and does so much for his family. But did I mention he slips into Spanish at the most perfect and sexy of times?
2. Cameron (Delinquents by Suzanne Young): I’ve dubbed this hottie Coffee Pot Boy. Won't say why, but the reason is a good one. And it’s why he stole my heart. Okay there are more reasons but I am pretty sure at this point, I melted. A lot. And laughed. But mostly melted. Also, he is pretty much one of the most caring boys around. You want a sweet but still sexy and slightly bad boy guy? Cameron is it. I wouldn’t mind having a go in his Beamer…
1. Adrian (Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead): Sardonic playboy. Do I need to say anything else? I like the Southern Gents. I like the Latinos. But the sardonic boys…. They steal my heart above all else. He’s horny and has a pocketful of vices. He also has made the smell of cloves enticing. But he’s sweet. Sure, you have to look hard, and catch his eye for more than a bedroom romp, but Adrian is… amazing. Yeah, I’d let him drink me. Taboo or not. Admit it. You would too. Rawr.
Woo... I'm fanning myself! Thanks for the list, Kari!!
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
Rachel Vail has written over 30 books, for kids through teens. Her most recent include her trilogy for teens: Lucky, Gorgeous, and Brilliant; and her novel for kids, Justin Case: School, Drool, and Other Daily Disasters. (from SCBWI website)
Here's a look at my interview with her:
Thanks for being here, Rachel! I’m really looking forward to seeing you speak at this year’s SCBWI summer conference in LA. Looking at the schedule I’m really excited about the workshops you’re doing, particularly the one on voice. As a sneak peek, any chance you can give us one small hint about your topic?
One of the most exciting moments in writing a novel is realizing that you are able to think with the mind -- and therefore speak in the voice -- of one of your characters. Getting there is a process that requires lots of work and a fair amount of luck, but there are some techniques I have found really help me get into character, as theater-people say. In fact, many of the writing techniques I use are drawn from theater training. I'm looking forward to sharing some great (and fun) tips for developing strong, unique characters' voices with the writers in my workshop!
What do you think a new writer could gain from attending one of the SCBWI conferences? Is there anything in particular about writing conferences that you really enjoy?
I hope writers will find both practical and inspirational insights at the conference, as well as a feeling of being part of this incredibly enthusiastic and vibrant community of fellow-writers. I love hearing about how other authors work -- sometimes because I can apply a useful tip in my own writing and sometimes just for the inspiration their passion gives me.
And finally, Heart and Soul is the theme of the poolside gala. Any advice on what to wear? (I’m hopeless!)
Oh, no! What to wear? Something really cool and creative and original. Urgh. Mine might be very, very subtle in its adherence to the theme...
Doesn't she sound fabulous?? To hear more from Rachel,check her out at this year's SCBWI summer conference!! Haven't registered yet??? Do it HERE!
Hope to see you all there!!!