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?

Positive vs Negative, or When Negative Wins

pos-neg

I have to tell you right off… this isn’t a post about attitude adjustments, or mean people taking over the world. Nope, nothing quite so deep for today. This is about a little pet peeve of mine. Allow me to share a story.

Each night before going to bed, we watch an episode of M*A*S*H. Yeah, the show from the late 70s/early 80s with Hawkeye and Hotlips and the whole gang. (In fact, we do this with such regularity that the dog recognizes the ending credits music as a sign that it’s time to go to bed. But I digress.) One such episode centers around two plot points: one) it’s blazing hot in Korea, and two) they’ve been sent placebos (sugar pills) in place of another needed medicine. Hawkeye and BJ convince Klinger that the sugar pills are an experimental drug to regulate body temperature, and he buys it. They are are sitting there hot, sweaty, miserable and in comes Kilinger fresh as a daisy. BJ’s response is to say, “Look at him. He’s sheveled!” I love this because it’s clever, and grammar jokes make me giggle. But the reason it’s clever is that “sheveled” isn’t a word. It ONLY exists in a negative form: disheveled.

And thus began my quest. I’ve been collecting words for a while now that only have a negative form. How is that possible? How can you say something is “dis-” or “un-” or “-less” without having something that you’re actually “dis-” or “un-” or “-less”? Now I have been pleasantly surprised to discover that some of the words I’ve collected actually DO have positive forms, but they’ve fallen into such disuse I didn’t even know they were words. Interesting that the negative form would survive and the thing it is negating did not. Anyway… without further ado. Here is my small collection of bothersome words.

  • Disgruntled (when was the last time you heard of a gruntled employee?)
  • Ruthless (unless you’re describing a guy who divorced a lady named Ruth, no positive form here.)
  • Unkempt (I found a source that says you CAN use kempt, but nothing to back it up, even within the same source.)
  • Uncouth (“couth” actually is a synonym for “sophisticated,” but when is the last time you heard it used??)
  • Uncanny (nothing to add here. Now that IS uncanny!)
  • Inclement (again, here is one where you can say “clement” weather. But nobody does. Just the negative.)
  • Unfurl (you hardly ever read about a flag being furled.)

So that’s it. My little list of collected negativisms. And what is my point? I don’t really have one. I just like grammar and words and interesting bits. Do you have any to add to the list? Or any strange pet peeves like this? Share! 🙂

A teeny tiny preview

jackpot

One of the blogs I follow had a post this week that I thought was just too cute to pass up. She said she had been tagged in the “777 Challenge.” Now, truth be told, I have been tagged by nobody. But I’m gonna play anyway. So here it is.

The rules are simple. You take your current WIP and post the seven lines which start seventh down on the seventh page. Got it? I know, not exactly rocket surgery, right? So here’s a little background first:

But first, a little background so it’s not completely out of left field. Since it’s only page seven, we’re still in chapter one. My main character Rennie is spending the summer in California, where her best friend Maia moved six months ago. Naturally, for her first night in town, Maia takes Rennie to a beach bonfire. Before she can even dip her toes in the Pacific, two unexpected events change the course of her summer (and potentially so much more). First, she has a vision which transports her to a world she’s seen only in her dreams. It leaves her rattled, but no one else saw anything unusual so she tries her best to file it away for later and just have a good time. Then, as she’s about to meet Maia’s new friends, she gets hit square in the shoulder with a pile of driftwood. She intends to give this bulldozer impersonator a piece of her mind, but when she sees him, she stops dead in her tracks. Alex is beautiful … and maybe even a little familiar?

So my seven lines are Rennie’s first attempt to speak to him when he asks if she’s all right. Here goes:

“Are you okay? I really should have been watching where I was going.” His voice is soft and poetic, a raspy quality that makes me want to lean in to hear him better.

“I’ll be fine, it’s problem. No! Problem. Fine.” Was that me? That wasn’t even a sentence! “I’m okay.” Better. Keep it short, keep breathing. Maia’s looking at me like I just grew a third arm and I realize too late that this is so not the first impression I would have wanted to make. When I was sane, I mean. I bite my lip and glance away. I’m just certain I knew how to form sentences this morning. Maybe I can blame that vision. I can’t quite shake the eerie feeling of having just been somewhere else.

“I didn’t catch your name,” he says, gallantly rescuing me from myself.

“Rennie!” I say, just a little too loudly. I clear my throat and try to recover my wits. “Rennie Winters.”

Okay, granted, not a huge preview. But just a tiny glimpse into their interaction. I love my characters. 🙂

I wasn’t tagged, so I’m not going to tag anyone either. But if you want to play, please tag me so I can see your WIP preview too!