Friday, February 28, 2014

WIP the movie bloghop

Thanks to Kyra and Rachel for hosting this bloghop, in which I get to cast the characters and music for my current Work In Progress.

I have several books in various stages of development, but decided to go with the one I just started drafting called TRADING HOPE. It's a typical Ilima-esque story set in a future where the world monetary system has collapsed and everything is now bartered or traded...including people.

My main characters are Hope--a girl whose father is offered WAY more than expected for her hand in marriage, and Wesley--her best friend who knows she's worth more than she gives herself credit for. Aww.

My Hope is Odeya Rush. You might recognize her from The Odd Life of Timothy Green, but you'll see her later this year in The Giver aside Jeff Bridges and Meryl Streep. Dark, moody, quiet, beautiful. She's a perfect Hope:

My Wesley is Tom Odell. He's not an actor but a British musician who's a piano player...just like Wesley. :) I think he's popular in the UK (Kyra, correct me if I'm wrong) and has that perfect floppy blond hair and presence that is just, well, lurpy. Haha. That's Wesley:

And here's a bonus. My daughter is an amazing artist and likes to make fan art of my book lucky am I, right? So here's her interpretation of Hope and Wesley. I love it so much.

And now for the music:

ALL OF ME by John Legend (the version w/Lindsey Stirling)
DURBAN SKIES by Bastille
MOTH'S WINGS by Passion Pit
PEACE OF MIND by Two Steps From Hell
BROTHERS by Prince of Spain
SATURN by Sleeping at Last
And of course any and every Tom Odell song. :) His raw emotional stylings are perfect for Hope's story. 

What actors would play the characters in your book? Any novel soundtrack must haves on your playlist?

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Meeting Scenes

Today I've got Jolene Perry on the blog talking about her new book, THE SUMMER I FOUND YOU. Take it away, Jolene...

I love "meeting scenes" especially when I'm writing/reading a story heavy in the romance department. Some are awkward, some surprising, some easy and comfortable...

ANYWAY. I thought I'd share my "meeting" scene with you because these two stumble into an awkward sort of friendship before anything else, and I had a LOT of fun writing that :-D

“Oh,” [Jen] says as we pull up. “Aidan-is-a-bit-moody-and-lost-an-arm-in-Afghanistan.” And then she jumps out of the car. 

What? How can she have a cousin living with her for weeks and I know nothing of this part of it? I leap out my side, and then have to smooth the T-shirt fabric of the dress down again to make sure my panties are covered. How did I get talked into this? 

Wait. “What did you say about arms?”

“Shh.” Her eyes widen as I come around the front of her car.

Her gangly brother walks up with the guy who must be Aidan. He has the family blond hair and gorgeous light blue eyes. But he also has broad shoulders shown off by the snugness of his T-shirt. One of his shoulders leads to an arm. The other one does not.

I know I’m staring, because it’s definitely something I should NOT be staring at. But my brain’s having a hard time wrapping around it. It feels like someone’s erased what should be there.

“Kate,” she hisses. “You’re staring.”

“So, what does the other guy look like?” I grin at Aidan, and then realize I don’t know this guy, and it was possibly one of the dumbest things to ever leave my mouth.

“The guy next to me, or the one who left the bomb?” His face is flat, but his eyes don’t move from mine.

Silence like a thick blanket threatens to suffocate me. 


A corner of his mouth pulls up. “Teasing.” 

I chuckle this odd nervous little laugh, but both Jennifer and Will are silent, eyes wide. 

“So, this is my cousin, Aidan,” Jen says in this weird shaky voice that makes me know I’ve probably just screwed up, and that she might bring up my big Kate-mouth later.

“Nice to meet you.” I reach out to shake his hand, but he doesn’t have a right hand. So I stick out my left hand, and then laugh. This crazed nervous laugh thing. Again, like an idiot. “This has got to get old, huh? Bet no one knows which hand to put out.” I smile and realize I might have again totally stepped over a line here.

“Yeah. I throw everyone off. I really should have asked to lose the other one.” He smirks.

“Inconsiderate jerks,” I say as we shake. But I’m sort of numb from nerves and hardly feel him, his hand, or the fact that we’re done shaking. 

His smile lessens a bit. And again, I’m stupid. “Something like that, yeah.” 

“So, Jen dragged you to our senior picnic.” I’m flapping my jaws here, and I know when I’m like this I’m bound to say one stupid thing after another, but I can’t help myself. It just comes out. “That sucks for you.”

Jen flashes me a look, but Toby’s appeared from nowhere and wrapped his arms around her from behind. I can’t take my eyes off of Aidan. There’s a lot there, behind his eyes, his face, something. He’s interesting anyway. Well, and hasn’t run screaming from my idiocy yet...

So. That's my Kate and my Aidan. I love these two so hard :-) What's your favorite kind of scene to write? To read? To edit over and over since we ALL know we have to edit scenes OVER AND OVER...?

~ Jolene

Thanks, Jolene! You can find Jolene on her blog here. I have to admit my favorite scenes to write (and edit) are those kissy scenes. ;)

THE SUMMER I FOUND YOU releases in March, but you can buy it now on AMAZON and BARNES AND NOBLE.

"All they have in common is that they're less than perfect. And all they're looking for is the perfect distraction."

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Conference Season

I'm going to brave LTUE this weekend. It's a local writing conference for science fiction and fantasy writers. And ORSON SCOTT CARD will be there. Speaker For The Dead is my #1 favorite book and I've never seen him in person, so I'm pretty stoked. (Ender's Game has been playing non-stop on a continuous loop at my house for the last couple of weeks...that's normal, right?)

I'm not up to attending the whole conference for health reasons, but I'm gonna attend some of the classes. And though I'm concerned about pain levels and exerting myself, I'm also getting that nervous first-day-at-a-new-school feeling. Will I have any friends? Where do I sit? Will anyone talk to me?

I like my quiet writing desk in my quiet office and the safety of not having to be social whatsoever. I mean, what if I say or do something stupid and everyone thinks I'm weird? I don't have the luxury of self-editing like I do when I interact with people online.

Experience has shown I always have a great time and learn lots and have no problems 'socially', but I still get nervous before going to every writing conference. This year, I really want to focus more on what I can learn that will help with my writing than about being one of the cool kids. If only I'd learned that lesson in high school...

Are you attending any writing conferences this year? Will I see any of you this weekend at LTUE?

I wish that I could be like the cool kids,
'Cause all the cool kids, they seem to fit in.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

IWSG: A reason to party.

Join the IWSG!

One month ago on IWSG day, I woke up in the middle of the night with a sharp pain in my stomach. I'll spare you the details, but just say that after a doctor visit, CT scan, x-ray and specialist visit, I found out I had a 15 mm kidney stone. The next few weeks of my life involved multiple ER visits, trying several internet 'cures', pain med stupor, two surgeries, a stent that made sure I could never be more than a few feet from the bathroom, and a scary bout of opiate withdrawals that lasted several days. I'm still not out of the woods, but glad to say I'm no longer in a virtual coma (I can focus enough to write, yay!) and have made a few trips out of the house without a complete meltdown.

It's been a difficult time for me and my family (though far from the worst), but with each hurdle I've overcome, the sheer joy I experience is unmeasurable. Such as:

* Sleeping through the night for the first time in weeks...what a treat!
* Able to stand long enough to put that frozen lasagna into the oven go girl!
* Hitting the 24 hr. mark without experiencing the anxiety, muscle spasms, or chills of withdrawals...let's throw a party!

It seems silly now, but those milestones were huge ones for me and worth celebrating. Isn't it that way with our writing? Of course there are huge milestones along the way: first novel completed, landing an agent, first book deal, etc. But there are so many others worth just as much:

* I cut 20K words out of my novel without affecting the plot...what a treat!
* I wrote an entire scene without slipping out of tense or go girl!
* I finally figured out how get my character from A to B...let's throw a party!

So that's my advice for you all today...don't forget to celebrate your accomplishments, no matter how small they might seem. This week, I'm celebrating having figured out how to fix the ending of a book that's been shelved for over a year! Cheers! *commence happy dance*

How about you? What have you accomplished this week?

Take my mind and take my pain
Like an empty bottle takes the rain
And heal.