The Voices in My Head…

audiobooks

My latest venture is to work on transferring the voices in my head into your head. In other (less creepy) words, I’m figuring out how to make Drawn In into an audiobook. I’m using ACX, a website that is linked to Amazon in the same way that CreateSpace is linked to Amazon. By using them, I will be able to release my book with Audible, iTunes, and Amazon all at once. Exciting right? I’m still a little confused on the process. It all seems too easy, too casual. I’ve read the site so many times, but it just seems too simple. Pick someone to read, approve their first 15 minutes, give some notes, approve the whole thing, put it out there. Done; people can buy it. Shouldn’t there be some angst or drama involved? Maybe there will be some of that in the notes and approval phase. Or maybe it’s just that easy. Here’s hoping, right?

So now is the truly thrilling part… I’m auditioning narrators. This is also the difficult part however. See, I know what Rennie sounds like, she’s been in my head for a very long time now. I think as soon as I hear it, I’ll know it. I have a background in theatre, and I posted on facebook, tagging a bunch of my actor friends to have them audition. I have amaaaaaazingly high hopes for several of them who are interested (can’t wait to hear them ALL!!), and I have particularly high hopes for one in particular who has the potential to BEEEEEEEE Rennie. Seriously. I won’t elaborate, because I am open to all possibilities, all auditions, and I would love to be surprised. I’m just excited at the chance to find The One.

I love audio books. If I didn’t have GPS, I would have completely gotten lost on my trip moving from PA to Missouri while I was listening to The Host. (And say what you will about Stefanie Meyer, but I freakin LOVE that book, and it’s due to the audio version that completely sucked me in.) So anyway, all I really want is a chance to join that world. To have my book available while people are walking their dog or jogging or stuck in traffic… how amazing would that be? What are your feelings about audio books? Do you prefer single voiced narration or multi-actor casts?

Showing Some Love to the Love Triangle

Katniss-vs-Bella

Love triangles get a bad rap in the YA world these days. Personally, as a reader, I enjoy them. But I enjoy them within certain parameters. They have to be well done, well crafted. They should be an interesting and fun (and sometimes agonizing!) part of the plot, but they should not BE the plot.

I read a comparison once that aptly depicted this distinction for me. Basically it said that without the love triangle, the Hunger Games is about a girl fighting for her life in a televised fight to the death and accidentally sparking a revolution. While Twilight without the love triangle is about a girl who moves to a small town where it rains a lot.

I knew that I would be dealing with a love triangle of sorts in my second book. What I didn’t know is how much I would LOVE writing it! It has been so much fun, and I’m finding some elements and depths of characters that I didn’t expect which is always a bonus. I rarely write in order anyway, I write what is most pressing, or whatever is loudest in my head. And these days when I sit down to write, I find that it’s almost always the triangley bits. I’m sure when I’m putting it all together and doing my editing, I’ll find that I have way more than I actually need. But that’s okay too. Maybe I’ll release a “director’s cut” version of my book with the deleted scenes. Ha! 🙂

So what are your thoughts on love triangles? What is the BEST one you’ve read?

8 Things I’ve learned about Sequel Writing

part ii

So, as it turns out, writing book two is hard. This isn’t a surprise, per se. And yet… it is. You see, when I was writing book one, there was a lot of time spent in learning the basic craft of the writing itself. A lot of time in re-writing and editing and deleting and finding my way. There was also a LOT of time spent figuring out my very basic plot elements. Drawn In was based on a dream that I had, and that dream remained the basis of my story. But, as dreams tend to be, it wasn’t complete. It wasn’t a story. So that was difficult in its own way, but I’m not dealing with that part of the process now. I know my story, I know where I’m headed, and I am really comfortable with Rennie’s voice now. So those things are coming easier, for sure. However … now I’m dealing with a whole new set of issues, and some of them are a little unexpected. Here are a few things that I’m learning as I write book two:

  • Action and plot are not the same thing
  • A love triangle does not have to be central to the story, but it’s SO much fun to play with
  • A quirky first line is not as useful as a functional first line
  • Minor characters from book one DEMAND equal page time in book two (if not more)
  • Names are important
  • Details are important
  • People have Expectations now (and I like it!)
  • I love love love world-building

Such an interesting thing this writing thing is, and I’m so happy to have this as a part of my life. It’s funny to admit, but you know what? I kind of feel like a writer now.

My May 1st Resolution

resolutions

I’m not good with New Year’s resolutions. We sort of have a love/hate relationship going on, and really it ends up with me just feeling like I spend the first few weeks of the year lying to myself. So a few years ago, I made a resolution to make no more resolutions.

But today is May 1st, and for a couple of different reasons that I won’t go into just now, it feels like a chance for a new beginning. So, while I still didn’t join the Get Fit! Stop Smoking! Win the Lottery! bandwagon in January, I did make a sort of … let’s say promise to myself. I’ve done well in keeping it so far, and I’m ready to share it with you. So here it is. This year, I promised to Use Stuff.

Okay, so that probably doesn’t sound earth shattering to you. In fact, it probably sounds pretty dumb. But here’s the thing… I’ve always been the kind of person who will keep things. I keep things that I don’t need just in case I might need it someday. I keep things that I really really treasure… perishable things, special things, useable things. But I don’t use them. I’ll buy a special set of note cards on vacation, and then never use them. Why? Because they’re special. Well duh! Isn’t that why I bought them? Or I’ll get a favourite treat that I can’t get anywhere else, and do I savor it? No, not savor. SAVE. Save until I’ve forgotten about it, or it goes bad and ends up being thrown away. It’s silly, and it’s sad.

My brother is an excellent example what I’m trying to achieve. We recently took a trip to Tokyo, as I’ve mentioned before. There’s a candy that they make there that we love, and we discovered a kind that we’d never seen before while we were there, so we brought back a few packs to enjoy after the trip, but once again I didn’t want to open them. But he has a great ability to live in the moment, and so we did. And each delicious fruit-flavored bite was a perfect little remembrance of Tokyo. Without that push, I’d still have those boxes of unopened delights, just sitting there gathering dust. Because, (and here’s the thing…) before the box is even opened and we’ve had a chance to savor their sweet and sour goodness, I’m already mourning their loss.

I’m mourning their loss while the unopened box is still in my hand. Do you see the problem here?

So that, my friends, has been my resolution for this year. Use stuff. Enjoy the heck out of it.  Special things are meant to be enjoyed and treasured and remembered. One of my favourite quotes comes from Wally Lamb’s She’s Come Undone. It’s been too long since I’ve read the book, and I don’t remember the context, but the quote has stuck with me. It says,

“Accept what people offer. Drink their milkshakes. Take their love.”

Isn’t that a beautiful thought? When you’re presented with something wonderful, accept it graciously, be thankful for it, and enjoy it. That is my goal.