Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Tune in Tuesday—Long Live the Catchy

Tune in Tuesday is a weekly music feature that was originally hosted by the fabulous Ginger at GReads. However, for the time being, Katelyn of Kate's Tales of Books and Bands will be hosting. It's probably obvious by now that I love music almost as much as I love books! When I found out about Tune in Tuesday, I couldn't resist getting in on the action! Be sure to check back every week for new music and if you'd like to join us, just drop by Katelyn's blog and link up your post!

Happy Tuesday!

So I've been a bit lacking in my Tune in Tuesday posts of late, what with all the crazy in my life. And today there really won't be much of a theme. Well... Unless you consider "earworms" a proper theme.  And I'm not talking actual worms, because gross. I mean those songs that you listen to once and then they're straight up stuck in your head until you find something else, equally as addictive, to replace it.

There've been more than a few of those lately, but here are the ones that I tend to start humming out of the blue, at all hours of the day and night. Good luck getting them out of your head! And enjoy! :)

The Band Perry—Better Dig Two

And... yeah. The lyrics to this one are pretty much dripping with melodrama. But the beat and the twangy vocals more than make up for that, in my mind. Seriously. Can't... Stop... Listening...

Miranda Lambert—Mama's Broken Heart


Mark Knopfler—Boom Like That

"I'm goin' to San Bernardino, ring-a-ding-ding..." You know, for a song about McDonald's, this thing is pretty addictive.

And last, but not least....

The Spill Canvas—Good Graces, Bad Influence

I somehow went all these years without listening to the auditory awesomeness that is The Spill Canvas... Needless to say, I've been making up for lost time lately and listening to everything they've ever released, on repeat, for days at a time. It makes for surprisingly good writing music. :)

That's all for today... Hope you found something to enjoy!

Friday, March 22, 2013

The Next Big Thing Hop!

So the absolutely amazing L.W. Patricks over at http://www.lwpatricks.com has tagged me to participate in the Next Big Thing and I’m excited to be a part of it!

If you’re not familiar with L.W. and his fantastic Sins of the 7 series, I recommend getting acquainted ASAP! His debut novel The Shadow of Wrath is available now on Amazon and I can promise you that it's one heck of a ride. It's YA dystopian at its most brutal. The nonstop action will keep you turning the pages and the ending will leave you craving more! So be sure to check it out!

For those of you wondering what the Next Big Thing blog hop is... Basically, it's a pay-it-forward hop that allows you to discuss your work while linking back to the author who tagged you, and also tagging other authors to participate and keep the ball rolling. This way, readers can work their way forward (and back!) through the tags and learn about other amazing authors and novels of all sorts!

Now, on to the questions...

1) What is the working title of your book?

The first book in the Variant series is titled Revival. (The second book is currently a work-in-progress and its working title is Redemption.)

2) Where did the idea come from for the book?

The idea for the Variant series came from watching way too much sci-fi and reading a lot of X-Men comics as a kid. I've always loved the idea of teens with mutant abilities... And the possibility of having so much power at such a defining (and oftentimes awkward) point in your life intrigued me. Exploring the lives of my characters and the fantastic world they live in is a fun escape from reality for me.

3) What genre does your book come under?

Essentially it's YA Paranormal. It has action, sci-fi, and fantasy elements as well, but it's most definitely part of the young adult genre.

4) Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

Oh, how I've been waiting for someone to ask me that question. Hopefully, sometime soon I'll get around to writing up a separate post detailing actors for every character in the series... But until then, here's a quick rundown for a few of the main characters.

The Variant Series has quite a list of characters and I've mentally cast most of them in my head already... All of them, except for Alex.

Which, okay, probably sounds a bit weird, seeing as how she's my main character. Why haven't I cast her, you ask?

Well, the short answer is that I don't want to narrow her down to any one physical description. I realize that—should the impossible happen and Revival be turned into a movie or TV show—she'll be played by someone. But until then, I want to leave her appearance to the minds of my readers. She is whoever you want her to be. :)

As for the other main characters, here's a quick list of the actors and models I tend to think of when I'm writing their characters.

Declan O'Connell—the voice of Garrett Hedlund and the physical appearance of Adam Gallagher, the model and blogger behind www.iamgalla.com. (A little Garrett in the appearance too, if I'm honest. So long as he's lookin' scruffy.)

Nathaniel Palladino—Steven Straight. It will always be him in my head.

Kenzie O'Connell—Allison Scagliotti in her early days as Claudia on the show Warehouse 13.

5) What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

Secrets, superpowers, and a handsome savior—this could be a spring break Alex will never forget... provided she survives.

6) Is your book self-published, published by an independent publisher, or represented by an agency?


7) How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

The first draft took nearly two years to complete.

8) What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

A blogger recently compared Revival to Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout and I can definitely see that (also, talk about a flattering comparison!). I would also compare it to The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken and Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi on account of the teens-with-abilities subject matter.

9) Who or what inspired you to write this book?

The inspiration for the Variant Series as a whole came from many different places, but the original spark came in the form of my morning coffee. One day at the coffee shop, the barista had drawn the shape of a phoenix into the foam on my latte. The image set my mind to wandering and I spent the next half hour writing out a scene where a young girl was being chased by a wall of flames through a burning bookstore. That piece would eventually become the opening scene of Chapter Four in Revival.

10) What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest.

What fans of Revival seem to enjoy the most about the book is its cast of characters. I had a blast writing each of them and was so happy to see that their unique voices resonated with readers! Alex isn't your typical shrinking YA violet, and between Declan's snark and Kenzie's sass, every character in Revival brings something different to the story.


Now it's time to tag some of my fellow authors to participate in the Next Big Thing! If you haven't checked them out before, you're missing out!

Jen Naumann is the author of multiple YA novels including What I've Done, Shymers, and The Day Zombies Ruined My Perfectly Boring Life. Her upcoming novel is titled Cheating Death.

Emma Chase is the author of Tangled, a romance novel set for release in May of 2013.

Go! Read! Enjoy! You can thank me later... :)