Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Recap of Anderson's Books Lucky/Unlucky Event

Here is a little recap of the YA author event last week. I didn't want to be all Ms. Photog and in people's faces, so my picture taking was more discreet. Here is the best shot of the full cast:

From left to right:
Christine Johnson - book: Claire De Lune
Julia Karr: XVI
Sarah Rees Brennan (face partially hidden): The Demon's Covenant
Saundra Mitchell: The Vespertine
Lisa & Laura Rocker: The Liar Society
Leah Clifford: A Touch Mortal
Courtney Allison Moulton: Angelfire
Sara Bennett Wealer: Rival

Each author gave a short synopsis of her book. It was fun to see each writer's personality come through as they described characters and storylines. Sarah Rees Brennan is originally from Ireland, although her accent is a sly one. Her wry and witty descriptions made me want to read her book, regardless of what the story was about! That's why I love events like these. I hadn't heard of her book and possibly would have passed by it if not for seeing her.

Leah Clifford struck me as a the type of person I am typically friends with. I was touched to hear her explain the call that her book sold to a publisher (she immediately called her mom and they freaked out together). Courtney Moulton was given a My Little Pony by a fan, tricked out to match the colors and theme of her book (it sounds impossible but she showed us the pony!)

I had my copy of "The Vespertine" and "XVI" signed, and of course ended up with a book or two more on the way out. I don't usually care that much about having a signed book, but I enjoy meeting the authors, and that's the way to do it. There were some devoted fans in attendance, one girl had won a prom dress from a promotional contest on Saundra Mitchell's blog. How sweet! If only the YA market thrived when I was in high school...

It's always fun to see devoted fans of books, and encouraging to see a turnout at a book event when so many bookstores are closing.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Billy Corgan: Mellon Collie and the Infinite Memoir

So, Billy Corgan is writing a book. Billy Corgan does a lot of things, some I'm not particularly fond of (like singing), other things I wish he'd focus more on (writing songs, not singing, not continually reuinting & retiring his band).

I found this amusing from the Rolling Stone article:

He says that with around 300 pages completed, he's finished writing one-third of the book.
Oh, the wonder of the first draft! I can see it now. My autobiography will be a 1,000 page epic, released in 4 parts, the debut release on the anniversary of penning the first song from Gish, written on a napkin in a Seattle diner... blah blah blah.  I just hope to .god he finds some honest beta-readers and an insightful editor.

The new writer in me understands. Three-hundred pages is just scratching the surface! I have so much to say! Something tells me no matter what, the book will get published. And more power to him for taking on a project like this. But I'm thinking Billy might benefit from the network of blogs I've been scouring for the past months, like Nathan Bransford or Janice Hardy's excellent The Other Side of the Story. As a new writer, I've been learning every day how to improve my writing. He could learn so much!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

YA Event at Anderson's

I am clearly spoiled living so close to Naperville's Anderson's Books. Look at this lineup of YA authors coming to the store this Friday:
Don’t let Friday the 13th scare you. Young Adult readers are welcome to visit with six authors who share their exciting teen titles. Meet:
 Next week they're bringing in Sarah Dessen. I'm at the tail end of The Truth About Forever, which is the type of book I would have eaten up had it been around when I was in high school. She's like the Jodi Picoult of YA!
I'm definitely going out to see the Friday event. I love meeting and hearing directly from authors on their stories and experience with publication.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Link to Share: Brenda Novak Auction

I wanted to share a link for Brenda Novak's Annual Auction for the Cure of Diabetes which has a ton of books and miscellaneous items up for bid. There are trips, jewelry, gift baskets and things like that, as well as opportunities for an agent or author critique of your writing. All the items were donated, and the auction money goes to diabetes research. This auction is plugged on Publisher's Weekly Beyond her Book blog and I've been hearing about it for weeks on various industry blogs.

Master List for Auction
YA books for auction

It's tempting to bid on an agent critique, but I'm not there yet with my beast of a work-in-progress. So I will most likely bid on a book or two.

Just wanted to share the info!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Royal Friday

Let's face it, we're either talking about watching Will & Kate's wedding or we're talking about how terribly stupid it is that people are talking about it. Now that we have established both camps, please choose a side. You MUST choose.

If you chose the first camp, continue reading. If you chose the second, you may continue reading, but I can't promise I will accept slander of the royal family UNLESS it's clever. Then, by all means.

So, I never thought I would have occasion to set my DVR to record 7 hours of the Today show starting at 3 a.m., but each day, a new adventure. Thankfully, I am deft with the remote so I'll probably only watch about 4% of what I record, but it will be worth it to have all that intel at my hands. I am not so much of a gawker to stay up/get up at the dead of night to watch pre-coverage speculation of what she might be wearing (my guess is sleek vs. ultra full skirt) and ... well, what else is there to discuss? William will probably wear a military formal uniform with a million gold buttons (boo-yah). The queen will be there, and I know what she looks like because I saw the movie. I've seen their church last spring:
A much prettier facility than the building across the street:
I found it hilarious how utterly bland this is, surrounded by the Abbey and Parliament and pretty much all of London.

I was too young to remember Princess Di's wedding, but I did grow up in the era of Diana's face on women's magazines and tabloids. My family falls into the camp of Pro-Royal, as in, we care about and have fascination with them for some reason. When Diana died, my aunt called in the middle of the night to talk it out. I at least remember it being very late, because I was up watching TV but my mom was asleep and woke up for the phone. As much as she cared about the Royals, she was not so geeked to have sleep interrupted for this news.

Events like this are interesting to me because it brings people together in a historical moment. Even the haters get to join in, and in years ahead they will continue their hate of how much they hated the event and how stupid everyone is who cares about such nonsense. Since those folks are mainly British, the rest of us on the other side of the pond will gawk and gossip and enjoy the frivolity. At least, I know I will.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

What Makes a Good Book Title?

I'm having a little trouble coming up with a good title for the story I'm working on. I frequently wonder how it is that all the good titles haven't been used up already. Especially one word titles.
I love the title Practical Demonkeeping (Christopher Moore). It perfectly attunes the reader to a paranormal storyline, and not an entirely serious one (understatement). It's concise, kind of cute. This is what I'm reaching for, I'm just not sure how to get there!

What type of titles grab your attention?

And for the writers, how do you choose a title for your work? How do you pull out the right concept to sum up your entire story?

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Links Roundup

Some of the blogs I read post a grouping of notable links for the week. I thought I would start doing this occassionally, even if just for my own reference! It's hard to keep track of it all.

From NYT Books: Penguin's Book Country site to help aspiring authors

From Guide to Literary Agents: Musings on handwritten journals and notebooks

Here's an exercise in writing a great opening line from the blog Writer's Ally

Tips from writing conferences summed up by a founder of Write-On Con (an online conference I'm considering for August!)

This last one was posted in February but it is new to me, timely as we just concluded the season of lent and Easter. Someone posted a query letter about the Bible that's pretty stinkin' funny: Courtesy of Query Shark