Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Blog Chain: In Which I Talk About Publishing, Ebooks, And Fears

Once again, I'm sending a shout-out to my Operation Awesome buddy, Michelle. She's invited me to join a super awesome blog chain, and today's my first post!

The lovely Sandra chose the topic for this round:

Have the recent changes in the publishing industry affected your writing plans/career? If so, how?

Very short answer: No.

Slightly longer and possibly incoherent answer: Ever since I started writing YA, I've always dreamed of the same thing--seeing my book on shelves. With the booming ebook industry, those shelves are different for a ton of authors. These are people who have taken charge of their careers in every sense of the word. They have the passion/drive/focus it takes to design and market a product. Sometimes it's hard to remember that writing is a business, after all. To me, e-pubbed authors know that very well, and are doing an excellent job of exploring both the creative and commercial aspects. 

Me? I am a huge fan of change. 

But self-publishing isn't for me.

I have a very strong feeling I'll always write. YA fiction, for the most part. It's what makes me happy. While it would be super amazing to have a book of mine out in the world, I don't think I'd be that heartbroken if it doesn't happen (but ask me again in ten years... *winks*). 

We all know the weird truth: not every awesome writer gets published. The traditional route sometimes excludes amazing storytellers. Sucks, but what can you do? Well, if you're like me, being in charge of your career in such an absolute way terrifies you. I honestly feel like I might topple over and faint. Or worse, sell a really crappy book, unlike some of my Operation Awesome friends, who are self-pubbed with really kickass stories.  

Here's my plan: 1) finish WIP; 2) revise x100000; 3) query agents. 

That's as far as I have control of my career. Whatever happens after that isn't entirely up to me.

And for some reason, I'm okay with that. 

Thanks to Michelle and the gang for letting me join in on the fun! You can see Abby's post on the subject here, and check out Christine's blog when she posts on a brand new topic tomorrow!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Tagged! 10 Random Facts About Me (Jensen Ackles Pic Included)

My Operation Awesome buddy Michelle McLean tagged me last week, and since Hurricane Irene was being a pain, I didn't have an Internet connection. BUT now I'm back in the game, and ready to spill ze beans.

Without further ado, here are 10 random facts about me:

1) I'm a Capricorn. For some reason, that makes me feel proud. Like I accomplished something just by being born on a certain month. Why, yes, I'm lame.

2) I love to eat peanut butter straight out of the jar. But I have to do it whenever my dad isn't looking. Not because he frowns upon this act, though. Because he wants to steal the jar for himself.

3) My favorite color is a four-way tie between green, black, blue, and purple. The world is a better place because of them.

4) Whenever I'm really happy, I speak with a Southern accent. And I'm Puerto Rican. Yeah.

5) Even though my wardrobe consists primarily of T-shirts, jeans, and Chuck Taylors, I l-o-v-e fashion. My obsession with Project Runway and The Rachel Zoe Project only fuel this love even more. When I was in middle school, I told my mom I wanted to be a fashion designer. She designs and sows like a BAMF, but me? Not so much.

6) I have all the Buffy the Vampire Slayer seasons on DVD. It's the only series I have all the seasons to on DVD, but trust me. There are more to come.

7) Seven is my favorite movie of all time. Kevin Spacey's performance is one of the most disturbing things I have ever seen in my life, and I LOVE it. Also, the movie taught me so much about plotting, characterization, and foreshadowing. If ever I get published, it is going right into my Acknowledgements page.

8) I am currently learning Italian. It's a requisite for grad school (I have to know three languages), but I've ALWAYS wanted to learn Italian. One of my dreams is to live in Italy for a summer, and I'm loving every minute of this experience. 

9) Reality TV is my crack. There. I said it. *blushes*

10) And last but not least, I am married to Jensen Ackles.

But you knew that already.

Now I'm tagging the following peeps:

Can't wait to read your posts, ladies!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Movie Trailer Monday: THE HUNGER GAMES *brain explodes*

I don't think I need to prelude this trailer with anything, do I?

*shakes head*

Okay. I'm just going to lead you straight to it, folks.

Le first official trailer for The Hunger Games:

I know it's still rough (filming hasn't ended yet, so they don't have much footage to show us), but I think it's a decent teaser. Jennifer Lawrence looks like the perfect mix of badass and vulnerable. The voice-over with Gale warms my heart, too. OH, AND RUE'S WHISTLE AT THE END. 


I cannot wait to see a full-length trailer with... wait for it... PEETA!!!

*fist pump*

Now tell me: what did you think of the teaser? Are you excited, or underwhelmed? 

Monday, August 22, 2011

An Open Letter To Boys Who Don't Read YA

Dear Boys Who Don't Read YA,

If you can watch her show...

and her show...

and her show...

and her show...

and her show...

and her show...

and even her show...

you can read YA novels. 

Yes, there are girls in them. And they share their feelings. And sometimes, swoon over boys who look/act/speak n-o-t-h-i-n-g like you. 

But guess what? Girls read books with boy main characters. With girls who sometimes look/act/speak n-o-t-h-i-n-g like them. And girls still LOVE those books.

Be a dear and show girls some respect. Their voices matter just as much as yours. 

Also, go read this post by YA author Saundra Mitchell. 

You're welcome. 


A Girl Who Reads Books With Boys And Wants Boys To Read Books With Girls 

Monday, August 8, 2011

Movie Trailer Monday: THE DARK KNIGHT RISES, Anne Hathaway As A Badass, And The Importance Of Taking Risks

Yep. It's another edition of Movie Trailer Monday!!!

And it's all about...


*flaps black cape*

So. I l-o-v-e Batman. Especially if Tim Burton and Christopher Nolan had anything to do with it. 

Which leads me to the final installment in Nolan's trilogy.

First, le trailer for The Dark Knight Rises:

Now, le Anne Hathaway as a Badass a.k.a. Catwoman:

And now, le importance if taking risks: raise your hand if you ever thought Anne Hathaway would get to play Catwoman.



She's beautiful, nice-looking, and soft-spoken. But she wanted to audition for Nolan's film. She wanted to play Catwoman. AND SHE IS. Bottom line? Anne Hathaway should be your sensei. If you want to write a genre you've never tackled, GO FOR IT. Repeat after me: risks are our friends. They change our lives for the better or worse, but the point is that they change our lives. They make us stronger. They force us to learn. 

Don't ever turn your back on a chance to learn. 

Nuff said.

Now tell me: are you excited for The Dark Knight Rises? And what do you think about Anne as Catwoman??

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

WIP Playlists And Why They Rule

So. I love music. Some genres more than others, but overall, I'm an equal opportunity music listener. My poor iPod is filled with songs by artists who would NEVER duet in real life. 

*cough Marilyn Manson and Taylor Swift cough* 

Before I start drafting, I love to put together a playlist for the project. Sometimes I create two playlists--one for the main character, and another for the MC's relationship with the love interest. 

Why, yes, I do have way too much time on my hands...

Seriously, though, I think writers should be open to music when drafting. To me, a playlist is useful for three reasons:

1) Songs that help with character development/voice

These are the easiest ones to pick for me. They're usually songs that deal with what my MC faces in the story, or is about to face. Either way, they give me an idea of how my MC would react or feel in certain situations, and I write accordingly. Out of all the songs I pick, these get the most plays.

2) Songs that help with plot

This is where I usually feel like I'm cheating. Songs are stories, after all. There's an outcome the singer is either happy or sad about, right? Well, whenever I get stuck with my plot, I sit back and listen. The lyrics make me come up with brand new scenes, goals, obstacles, and resolutions. They don't have to be exactly what the lyrics refer to, but a good chunk stems from them.

3) Songs that help with mood

Battle sequences = Metal. A huge breakup = Ballads. Party scenes = Dance/Pop/Hip Hop. I think atmosphere for the writer translates into atmosphere for the story. Of course, there are writers who can whip out these scenes without music, and they come up with sheer brilliance. Me? Not so much. *hangs head in shame*

So. There you have it. Playlists save fake people's lives.

Tell me: do you create playlists for your WIPs? Any specific kind of music you keep gravitating toward?

Monday, August 1, 2011

It's Mystery Agent Contest Day!!!

Once again, Operation Awesome has found a Mystery Agent!! If you have a completed manuscript and a one-line pitch, hop on over to the blog and enter. 

Your prize? A full manuscript request!

And who knows? Maybe our Mystery Agent will pick more than one winner. 

*bats eyelashes*

Best of luck to all who enter!!