Saturday, February 27, 2010
I haven't read anything by Cyn (Sin?) Balog, and Sleepless looks really good. I LOVE the cover, the flower--beautiful. It's about a Sandman who falls in love with a girl, one of his human charges. Although he's not allowed to mess with their dreams, Eron feels drawn to lonely Julia, who's boyfriend recently died in a car accident. It's out in July.
And Saving Maddie looks good, too. A preacher's son falls for the town bad girl--can he save her?
AND, I was just speaking about Dark Life last week, and now I can dig right in. Dystopia under the water, what can I say?
Poisoned Honey is a fictional story about Mary Magdalene. I think before she meets The Man. Her story is about her connection to the spirit world and the magic and power she finds there. Actually I'm fascinated by this one.
I just love the title to Boys, Bears, and a Serious Pair of Hiking Boots.
What books did you get this week?
In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren!
Thursday, February 25, 2010
Lament opens with a really great prologue. I wish I could just type it all out here for you, but I think that might step on some copyright toes. It really engaged me, it was very powerful. There is a boy in a well and you have no idea what he's doing there and why he's so scared. Then you find out that he's being Hunted by a very powerful lady. It's quite a strange way to open because I wasn't exactly sure what was going on. But reading it again after finishing the book, makes it that more powerful.
Then we're introduced to Deirdre Monaghan. She's a gifted Harp player. And I don't understand what a crazy person her mother is, but Dee pukes every time she's about to play in public. And her mother came across as this pushy child-model-mom type. Even more so, Dee's aunt. Actually her mom really bugged me in the book; she refused to let Dee kind of break out of herself. She gave Dee no credit about the guys she hung around with. As if she would only have the personality bestowed on her by them, and her mother needs to weed out the baddies for her daughter's sake. Dee IS quiet, and sometimes I thought of her as a blank slate, personality-wise. But she starts to come into her own after meeting bad-boy-with-a-heart-of-gold Luke Dillon (And I totally imagined him as a young Dylan from Bev Hills. It has to be the name: Luke Perry/Dylan Whateverhislastnamewas).
I liked Luke more than I liked Dee. I won't reveal his background in the story but he has a mystery to him that is unique in teen fiction. There are faeries in Dee's world, but Luke isn't exactly like them or one of them. He has his own secrets and most of the excitement in the book for me, was finding out the dirt on him. There's a part in the middle of the book where you're wondering why this amazing guy would out of the blue be infatuated with Dee. He just walks up to her, introduces himself and then says some pretty intimate things to her about her "potential" as a person. After he finishes holding back her hair while she throws up, that is. Anyway there's this scene in the middle fo the book where you suddenly see that Luke's motives may not be all that great and I really started paying attention.
I think the world in Lament is the strongest part of the book, for sure. There are faeries but they fall more into the category of magic realism. Their evidence in Dee's world was very subtle at first. I like this passage in particular:
"Didn't you ever wonder at the coincidence, that you and the Faerie Queen should be in such proximity? That a host of faeries should suddenly be on your doorstep?"
I felt foolish. "I--uh--guess I just thought there were a lot of faeries."
"They're here because of you. Faeries aren't like humans; Their realm and Their bodies don't really have fixed locations, like humans."
I seized the chance to look like I wasn't clueless. "You mean how some of Them use the energy of a storm, or a person, to appear."
Thomas nodded his approval; it made his curls bounce. I fought the urge to reach out and sproing one of them. "Exactly. Faeries are drawn to a certain sort of energy, and They move like satellites around that energy. The realm of Faerie centers around one person, the monarch--usually a human--who radiates that energy."
Dee's new psychic abilities come as a side effect of this phenomenon and I thought this was worked very well into the story. I really like this explanation for faeries in the world of Lament. It's quite unique.
I also want to mention how cool it is when the world of a novel extends beyond the story. Maggie Stiefvater has actually written and recorded music as a companion to the book. Hop over via the link to hear it. The Kiss, in particular is gorgeous. It really evokes the tone of the book; It is haunting and playful at the same time.
Kiirstin from A Book A Week read Lament alongside me and we had a great discussion about the book:
Mandy: Have you read any other teen books about fairies? Do you like fairies in fiction? I've only read Wicked Lovely. I can't say I'm a fairy person.
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
I was looking for something scary. Lately I have been bemoaning the lack of scary books in Teen fiction. Like really scary, not paranormal romance adventure tension. And Katie mentioned that Locked in Time scared her when she read it originally, and I liked the sound of the title. So we agreed on a Re-read/First Read challenge.
Nore has been away at boarding school after the death of her mother, when her dad summons her to join him and his new wife in Louisiana. Nore is eager to live with her dad again but wary of his new wife, Lisette. Although to her credit, Nore is also open to the idea of liking Lisette, even though she's not her mother. Lisette would have driven me crazy, even before the crazy sets in. She's a traditonal lady of the house, kind of strict and big on etiquette. She's always on about manners and social rules. And Nore's dad is completely wrapped around her finger.
Lisette has two kids, Josie, who's like 13 and Gabe who is Nore's age, around. Gabe and Nore kind of hit it off right away and there's a bit of romantic tension between them. Which is weird, obviouslym because they're step brother and sister. This is one line I didn't forget:
"Get over here, Nore!" he commanded with mock ferocity. "Tonight we're going to forget all the 'stepbrother' stuff. If you've got a hometown boyfriend, I don't want to know about him."
Ew. Although the heat between them doesn't last too long, once Nore realizes that Lisette's family has some very dark secrets. Secrets which involve Nore and her dad. At first Nore thinks Lisette may be a black widow, finding wealthy men to marry and then murder. But then she sees that it's so much more.
I was excited about the setting of Locked in Time. I wasn't really expecting it, based on the cover. I kind of thought it would take place in an old lady's house, with knick-knacks. Shadow Grove, the family mansion in Louisiana, sounds beautiful when Nore pulls up. And Lois really knows how to make you feel like you're fully experiencing the setting. She has an eye for detail and sensations.
As a little extra to the story, I thought it was neat that Nore has a special ability:
"This is different," said Lisette, "because Nore is Chuck's daughter. She is part of the package that Gabe will soon have to deal with. But there may be even more of a problem than that, Jo. Maybe it's something to worry about, or maybe it isn't: there's no way yet to be certain what effect this may have on things. The fact is, though, that with Nore Robbins, for the first time since all this started, we are involved with someone who has an uncanny awareness of time."
Nore can tell exactly what time it is at any time, and this ability plays into the plot in various subtle ways.
Locked in Time was a spooky read. I am always creeped out by the enemies-among-you-but-you-can't-say-anything theme. And I was so vexed by Nore's dad. I get that he might have been under the spell of a beautiful woman, but he really had no connection to his daughter and just expected that she would change her whole life to fit his needs. It would be funny to "interview" him after the final crisis. He'd be all, "Oh...man, Nore you were right. Huh. I should have listened..."
Spoiler alert! I remember Nore lying down in the cemetery, counting the minutes until it was safe to move. She chooses to think about her life in terms of years, recalling memories for each year to help the time pass. (Which I totally started doing after reading this book.) You've already read how I had somehow convinced myself that she was in a grave instead of hiding between graves. I always felt the tension in the story particularly at that point and was really worried about Nore. I still felt the tension, but I knew the ending this time around -- so I wasn't as worried.
I kind of loved how Nore, once she realized what might be going on, really pushed back hard. I didn't find her a victim in the book. What was your experience?
I think she totally kicked butt. I was seriously impressed that she had the guts to bring it up to her father, and that she didn't back down even when he was convinced she was lying. And I also loved how she got into the mystery of the whole secret -- doing research and sneaking around to find hidden diaries. She's just such a great driven personality.
What do you think about Nore's dad? How he behaved in general. Do you think he was under some kind of magic spell?
I don't think her dad was under any kind of spell. He was mostly, in my opinion, lonely. He missed Nore's mother and suddenly there was a beautiful woman who was interested in him. Who wouldn't pass that up? I am a little bit peeved that he didn't listen to his daughter about her suspicions, but I think he really just wanted a happy ending. Poor guy.
Monday, February 22, 2010
So I will need to get my hands on this book:
Zombies vs. Unicorns, just announced by Simon & Schuster, will be a collection of essays detailing the pros and cons of both the shambling undead and the horned horses. The idea for the book came from a series of blog posts between authors Holly Black (The Spiderwick Chronicles, Ironside) and Justine Larbalestier (Liar, How to Ditch Your Fairy) that started in 2007 and grew from there. A number of big names from the young-adult circuit, including The Princess Diaries writer Meg Cabot, have contributed individual pieces on one of the two creatures, all of which are tied together by a running deliberative commentary from Black and Larbalestier as they argue for Team Unicorn and Team Zombie respectively. (From EW)
Ha! And over on the official website, Unicorns are in the lead! People who love Unis over Zombs include: Meg Cabot, Kathleen Duey, Margo Lanagan, Garth Nix, Naomi Novik, Diana Peterfreund.
Sunday, February 21, 2010
Friday, February 19, 2010
In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren. She does really fun vlogs for her books on Sunday, that I always look forward to watching. I wish I could get mine to work this week.
Thursday, February 18, 2010
It's like a Darwinian publishing phenomenon.
And I love Dystopian teen fiction, so I'm looking forward to reading many of them. Oooh, PW has a comprehensive list of Dystopian titles coming out in 2010, here.
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
And I think I mentioned in my review for the first book--I love that their secrets are normal. They aren't too over-the-top. Hanna has a past with Bulimia and her father continually rejects her in favour of his new family. Spencer keeps making out with her perfect older sister's boyfriends. Emily likes kissing girls. And Aria's father is having an affair that would rip her family apart. As secrets go, they are tame. Unless you're the one with the secret, and you go to school at Rosewood Day where anything even slightly out of the norm is mercilessly preyed upon. And these girls should know; they used to be Alison's henchmen, doling out bullying without question. The four girls let their fears control them, and Alison and A both feed on their fears, egging them on to act in certain ways that are ultimately destructive. Actually it's kind of painful at times, like "Noooooo!!! *slow motion waving hands*"
"Oh, a box of ARCs from Scholastic, this is going to be a great day!...hmm, cool cover with the vines and the OHMYGOD IT IS THE NEW CECIL CASTELLUCCI...This is not even funny... *Co-worker looks on, unflinching (we've worked together for a long time)* I'm not even laughing about this...."
So, I'm a huge Cecil fangirl. Now that that's out of the bag, I know what I'm reading tonight! Although I've been pretty engaged in Holly Black's newest, White Cat: The Curse Workers #1. But Cecil is one of my faves (Beige is my fave of faves). Do you ever read two books of fiction at the same time? I try not to because it's weird for me. I'm not above it, though! Often I'll have a fiction and a few non-fiction title going at the same time.
Don't you love the cover? It makes the story seem vaguely fairy-tale-esque. Actually I have no idea what the plot is about and I think I'll keep it that way. Until I read the book, of course.
(Cover of Rose Sees Red courtesy of Cecil's blog)
Monday, February 15, 2010
This weekend has gotten away from me. I'm a little late with my Mailbox post. Although I've been reading more than blogging, which should happen more often for me! This weekend I've finished up Lament by Maggie Stiefvater for a book blogging post with Kiirstin from A Book A Week (more to come). And I'm finishing up Flawless by Sara Shepard because I just felt like reading the second Pretty Little Liars book, even though I have a huge list of things I should otherwise be reading. The second book is pretty good.
This week I received the new Guy Gavriel Kay book, Under Heaven. I'm really very excited about it. I hope *fingers crossed* that we have an author reading with Guy hosted by our store sometime in the Spring. The ARC is so heavy. The book is like 600 pages. Under Heaven is set in the Tang Dynasty of eighth-century China, and it looks like a stand-alone outside of his previous books' worlds.
And I also got The Grimm Legacy by Polly Shulman, which I didn't know anything about. The author's name sounds familiar....oh, her other book is Enthusiasm. I think I've seen a review or two. I really like the cover for Grimm Legacy. Elizabeth is lonely at her new school until she stumbles upon a secret room in the basement of the school where objects from the Grimm Tales are kept. When they start to go missing, Elizabeth and her friends search for the thief, before they're accused of the crime themselves. It looks fun.
I wanted to get to the library this weekend too, which never happened. My library is a five minute walk away, which makes the whole thing sadder. My absolute favourite way to pick up new books is by randoming choosing them from the shelves at the library. Maybe I'll get some time this week.
What books did you get this week?
In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren.
Friday, February 12, 2010
Before I get into that for this week, I really have to tell you about the Sweet Valley High Re-Boot that's going on!
I had not read any SVH books growing up, I just missed them, until Katie from Read What You Know and I read the first book in the series together and shared an awesomely funny review and chat about the story, a few months back. So I'm kind of a fangirl now about SVH, with that one book read under my belt, and I'm kind of loving the idea of a re-boot. Here are the deets:
According to St. Martin’s, Sweet Valley High’s Jessica and Elizabeth Wakefield – the identical twins with blonde hair, eyes the color of the Pacific Ocean and “perfect size six” figures – will return to bookstores, possibly as soon as early next year, in Sweet Valley Confidential, a book chronicling their lives as twenty-somethings.
Rumors have swirled for years that SVH creator Francine Pascal was working on a book focusing on the twins and their friends several years out of high school. Late last month, the SVH world went into a frenzy when an editorial assistant at St. Martin’s confirmed the existence of the novel, giving Shannon’s Sweet Valley Blog a tentative publishing date of February 2011. While there is no word yet on what characters will appear in the book, there is a plethora to choose from. I think it’s safe to say that Lila Fowler, Jessica’s rich frenemy and my personal favorite, will make an appearance, as will Porsche-driving Bruce Patman and
My question is whether Francine Pascal will personally be writing them or will she have a ghost writer for the re-boot? You know, I'm calling it a re-boot but it's not. It's a continuation of the SVH "mythos" if you will--and why wouldn't you? :)
Anyway, Pascal didn't write all of her novels, will she write the new books? I am glad to hear that a fabulous campy quality will continue in the new series. Although a small part of me wonders if SVH Confidential will turn out to be like the last 3 seasons of
If anything, I love this news because it introduced me to Shannon's Sweet Valley High Blog! Did you know about this? This lady has read every SVH book out there and reviewed them on her blog, including those special editions. She's gone through all of the books, now, but you can read through her back logs. What a feat. I'd love to see a "Julie and Julia" -type movie done for
Fabulous things I've found online this week:
Create a Word Cloud for your blog, here! It's really fun and you can pick through different styles. Incidentally when I popped in the name of my blog, the hugest words on my cloud were Damon and Eyebrows. Frankie and Donna I blame you completely! :)
Word Cloud link first mentioned on Pete Hautman's blog.
This week also, Simply Books wrote a review for Because I Am Furniture by Thalia Chaltas. I have a copy of the book at home and now really look forward to reading it.
YA Vampire Books, a blog I totally love, had a post this week on a little TV series called Kindred: The Embraced. It's about a pack of vampires living in the city, based on the world-view of the role-playing game Vampire: The Masquerade...and it's created by Aaron Spelling. Are you kidding me? That guy was everywhere! (I will also not confirm or deny that I have any intimate knowledge of this role-playing game...it was cool at the time). I kinda watched the first episode and it was alright. Click through the link to see where you can watch it all on Youtube.
Shannon Hale held a contest to make your own Rapunzel's Revenge book trailer and she's posted the videos for you to vote on. They are a lot of fun so check them out. Rapunzel's Revenge is a cool little graphic novel that came out last year with fantastic illustrations.
vvb32 Reads is gearing up for a Valentine's Day book weekend, which I'll be reading along with. I love the blog header: the focus is on zombies, vampires, steampunk, Japanese and Jane Austen in YA books and the art reflects all of these things. Awesome.
Tales of Whimsy has a great review of Animal Farm, complete with a gallery of alternate cover art over the years. "But at times the porky hypocrisy had me ready to scream at the other animals"--Juju. Love it!
And that's it for this week. What great blog posts have you found this week? Leave 'em in the comments for me to check out.
Thursday, February 11, 2010
I’ve just shipped my latest novel off to my publisher. The original title was “Shayne,” a nod to Jack Schaefer’s classic western novel, Shane. But because almost no one born after 1970 remembers that book, my wise editor suggested an alternate title: Blank Confession. Look for it next November.
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Yesterday a lady came into our store and asked if we could choose about $1000 of books for teens for a library she's starting. And she wants us to choose the books. For teens 12-17... $1000 worth...Me...choosing books for a starter library...
It was the best ever.
I'm looking at the list of things I pulled off the shelves, now, and I'm getting all dewey-eyed. I walked around with a shelving cart and weighed the pros and cons of each book. I approached it thinking that this might be the first library someone walks around--what can I hook them with to make them lifelong readers.
My lady wanted to have copies of Twilight and Harry Potter, which I included happily. More so the HP books. She also wanted Eric Walters, which is what all Canadian libraries make sure to have. You wouldn't think that $1000 might go pretty far, but I had problems choosing between titles. What was necessary?
We didn't have a copy of How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff, but I did include What I Was. I put a few titles in by Neal Shusterman because I love him and I think he's great for guy-reads. Everlost, Unwind, and Downsiders made it into the boxes. Also, The Schwa Was Here, which I haven't read but will very soon.
I included a copy of Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell, because I LOVED this book when I was younger. I added a copy of Beige by Cecil Castellucci because it's my favourite. I totally couldn't forget to include all three of books of the His Dark Materials trilogy by Phillip Pullman, and also a copy of The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath.
I've only read The Hobbit and the first Lord of the Rings book, which I thought was okay, but I put the whole series in because I know so many people who felt these books to be so important when they were young. I stuck in a copy of Ysabel by Guy Gavriel Kay to introduce people to a fine Canadian fantasy writer. Same for the copy of The Broken Thread by Linda Smith I included. Beautiful fantasy writing. Oh, and also Graceling by Kristin Cashore...and The Wand in the Word, an anthology of interviews with fantasy writers which I loved reading.
Anything we had by Shannon Hale was included. Nameably Goose Girl, Princess Academy and Book of a Thousand Days, which are my top three.
Thief by Megan Turner, Redwall by Brian Jacques, 13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson, and Pirate's Passage by William Gilkerson were included.
Kiki Strike by Kirsten Miller is awesome fun, and Wildwood Dancing by Juliet Marillier is beautiful.
Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli, Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder, White Darkness by Geraldine McCaughrean, a ton by Kenneth Oppel, City of Bones by Cassandra Clare, Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr, Princess Bride by William Goldman (I Know!), The Vampire Diaries books 1 and 2 ( I know, I know), Pretty Little Liars by Sara Shepard (I am surprisingly into this series!), The Boyfriend List by e. lockhart.
Poetry by Susan Musgrave. She's so visceral and such a witchy woman; a luscious writer.
A bunch of Scott Westerfeld. All titles by John Green. King Dork by Frank Portman.
And Kissing Kate by Lauren Myracle. Have you read this book yet? It's so good. Same for Someday This Pain Will Be Useful to You by Peter Cameron. OH, and Vinyl Princess by Yvonne Prinz, of course.
The first three Narnia books.
And many more, actually. I had a blast choosing them. I only picked papaerback, to go easy on the budget, if you're wondering why I didn't pick some great newer fiction. Like The Maze Runner by James Dashner or Half World by Hiromi Goto. Next time.
What would the essentials be in your starter library?
Monday, February 8, 2010
Julia was killed on Labor Day on her way home from a party. I didn't get to see her that night. I used to meet her on Friday nights, but I was never invited to the parties that she was invited to. We'd meet on the banks of the river, clutch at each other in the backseat of her car, steam up her windows and write messages and jokes to each other in the fog on the glass, and argue about whether to turn on the A/C. Sometimes we swam in the river late at night when the water was black and no one could see us. We did all that for a year, and nobody else knew.
The Secret Year opens a few hours after Julia dies in a car accident. Colt hears about it through his best friend, Syd, who heard it from Kirby, a girl who straddles the social divide between Black Mountain Road kids and people from The Flats. Colt has to act uninvolved as he wrings details from Syd: He and Julia were the only two people who knew about their affair. Now it is just him. When Michael, Julia's brother, hands Colt a journal of letters she's kept for him, it's the only connection he has to the girl he lost.
The story follows Colt for about a year after Julia's death, as he reads her letters/journal and tries to piece together the year they spent together in secret. Julia has a boyfriend, and she lives up on Black Mountain Road with the rich elite. Colt is from The Flats. He gets to the theme of their story right away, telling us:
That was the biggest difference between Julia and me: Black Mountain versus the flats. Not that we were Romeo and Juliet or anything. Nobody was trying to keep us apart. My family wouldn't have cared if I'd gone out with her. Julia's family probably would've hated me, but they wouldn't have locked her in her room. It was what her friends would've thought that bothered her, I think.
A cool image in the book is the river where Colt and Julia go on Friday nights to be together. They meet at night and the river looks black. After her death Colt goes there to be alone. I was looking around Jennifer's blog and I found an entry mentioning her fascination with "the river cure" mentioned by Anais Nin in one of her journals:
Described a[s a] folk cure for madness that involved placing a person next to a flowing river. The person was supposed to throw a stone into the river to unlock any blocked feelings, so that the feelings could flow again. I was not aware of this before I wrote my book, but it certainly reminded me of Colt. (Yes, there’s even a scene where he throws stones in the water.) Whether he succeeds in healing his “madness” and unlocking all the secrets that bound him to Julia, I leave you to discover. (Class of 2k10)
Another important character goes to the river when she wants to think or be alone, too. Although I don't remember the part where Colt throws a stone into the water. I DO remember the first time he kisses Julia. She's waded in wearing a slip and she teases him to come in with her. And he does. It surprises her. I liked in the book how the river was like a test of character; it attracts a certain type of person who can identify this river-attraction in others. It was well-done.
The Secret Year isn't exactly a romance novel, either. Which is the sense I initially got from the cover. Colt's interest in Julia after her death, I felt, was very natural. Kirby kind of throws it in his face a bit, like he's drawing it out too much by holding on to her journal. But I disagree. Their relationship wasn't perfect or really normal, but it was passionate and real at the time. Colt takes the year after her death to really process what she was to him and subsequently what he represented to her. Jennifer has this great blog post talking about how romance in a novel can bring out vulnerabilities in the characters, and I think this makes total sense for the "romance" in the book. Julia has flaws and only retrospect showed Colt that she wasn't exactly who she seemed. I wouldn't call their connection romantic, or really any other relationship Colt has with girls afterwards, as much as it's about two people finding out more about themselves through the eyes of another.
It's funny. This review is kind of short. I enjoyed reading the book but it was more like something to experience than to pick apart. It's very character-driven, which I like, and I enjoyed the central mystery of finding out who exactly Julia Vernon is and what her last night was like.
Review of Book One of The Vampire Diaries by L.J. Smith
Review of Book Two of The Vampire Diaries (I've been on a kick)
A funny take on judging books by their cover
A review of Possessed by Kate Cann (to show that I can write an okay review :) )
Saturday, February 6, 2010
And I'm intrigued by Alive Kuipers new book, The Worst Thing She Ever Did. Up top you'll see that at one point the book was tentatively named Lost For Words. I don't know what the final published title will be. The difference could be a UK vs. North American release thing. Alice also wrote Life on the Refrigerator Door, which was very successful and won a bunch of awards and accolades.
What awesome books did you pick up this week?
In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren!
Thursday, February 4, 2010
Wednesday, February 3, 2010
I really loved The Vinyl Princess--pop over to my review to see how. So I am beside myself that Yvonne (we're on a first name basis, now) was generous enough to respond to my fangirl questions!
(Mandy) I think it's obvious within the story itself, but founding/owning/working in a record store really must have informed the details of Allie's home away from home. I'm thinking of how well you were able to create a very exacting experience of the community created by a record store in a cool part of town. I sense that there is a bit of your own heart in the setting of Bob & Bob's?
(Yvonne) Oh, yes, very much. I was amazed at the number of people who lived on the street when we opened Amoeba in 1990. We were quick to become a part of the
VP has been likened to High Fidelity by Nick Hornby. And you mention that you started out to write a High Fidelity for girls in your Q & A with Billboard. What is the history you have with the book? What about it appeals to you?
I really loved High Fidelity. It reminded me of my first record store job when I was seventeen. I know Nick worked in a record store too and you really have to have lived it to write about it. People who work in the stores are often struggling musicians as well which is an interesting ego type to have to deal with. Amoeba has always had rotating staff leaving on tour, which is just how it is. Nick got that in High Fidelity too, the musician/record store clerk type; Moody, fragile, sleep-deprived, egotistical.
I'm also very interested in how you developed Allie's voice, which is so distinctive and just so DEAD ON. And even Kit; too often it is so easy to write best friend characters as tonal extentions of the main character. But in VP you've created such strong, female voices which are very different from one another. What is your secret? Certainly some unholy power was called upon.
Oh, yes, I have a shaman who drops by and lights things and shakes rattles and we sacrifice a chicken or two.
No, really, Allie is more me and Kit is the “Me” I wish I had the confidence to be: Guy Magnet, great dresser, adorable.
I think that voice is a hard thing to describe but you know when you’ve nailed it. A good way to tell is if you can read back some sad dialogue that your character said and it makes you cry. Then, by gum, you’ve got it.
Is Allie's name short for
Yes, there’s a funny bit at the beginning about how she got her name and yes, it is short for
“I was born here in
What is the coolest part about writing for teens? What is the best part of the journey so far?
I had no idea how the VP would be perceived but the response has been great. I guess the best part about the book is that I get these beautiful letters from girls telling me that the VP makes them feel like they belong somewhere. I wasn’t expecting that at all. I’ve saved them all (not the girls, the letters). It’s nice to reach out with a book and know that someone is reading it and getting it.
I'm pretty excited about rumors that you are working on a book called "All You Get is Me", which will be out in 2011. Is it too soon to talk about what it's about?
No, in fact, I just finished the edits so it’s very fresh in my mind. “All You Get Is Me” is about a girl named Roar (short for
(Ah me. I feel like a dope for overlooking the ENTIRE paragraph where my answer about Allie's name could have been answered for me. I swear I completely missed it)
Thanks SO much, Yvonne!