Thursday, January 26, 2012

YA Elements

The second book is dreadfully close to being out now and I’m trying to make it as perfect as possible. Here, I would like to talk about some elements in it.
As her mother and as a fan, I would like to say that I like Paige Sawyer. She’s not a repulsive character and she’s not perfect. I tried my best to make her as close to a human being as possible while at the same time, changing her into something that wasn’t human. For those insensitive to human behavior and habits, this is a hard thing to do. I’m not saying I’m insensitive to such things, but I tried my best.

Problems arise in this book that, given the events in the first book, would inevitably have come about. Such as the struggle in Paige’s school life. In a lot of YA I see this mistake all the time. There’s the plot, the drama, the strife, and the struggle between characters in whatever abnormal situation they’re in. And then there’s the other part of their life which at once seems to disappear or become utterly neglected as soon as said plot comes along.

I am of course, talking about parents and school. Why is it the trend in YA for parents to be so absent from their children’s lives? Most YA protagonists are minors, which presumably mean they live with an adult (parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles) who take care of them, and yet these authors do nothing to try and implement the teachings and wisdom from these characters.

Guardians play an immense part in a child’s behavior and personality, not only in negative ways, but in very positive ways too. They lecture us, they ground us, they pick us up from practice, they take us shopping, they give us “the talk,” and they wash our underwear. That all seems like pretty important stuff to me, so it amazes me how often these things get ignored in YA.

I’m not a psychologist, or a professor, or a literary genius. I am a writer. I’ve done my best to take what I know from real life to insert it in as interesting and believable a way as I can into my work in hopes that reader’s will connect with the elements inside.

One of my biggest goals right now is to improve as a writer so I can continue to make these connections. My characters depend on it.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Revised Cover

This is the revised cover of my first book. It has just been uploaded on and is in pending. I can't wait to start experimenting with the KDP, especially when the second book is published which will be soon. I'll be uploading the second cover soon.

Relationships drive a series

Right now I’m going to expel some of my own beliefs on why I think series books work more than anything else. Some people would protest against that statement, but I believe in my heart that it’s true. I myself adore series. I love them. And that is because when I find a story that I can become invested in, there’s comfort in knowing that it won’t end any time soon and that I can partake in the enjoyment from that particular story for more than one book. The longer the series, the deeper the relationships get, and the deeper I find myself falling into their world. I love my characters and it is my hope that readers will love them too. If they do, I know they won’t be satisfied with seeing them in only one book.

Girls and women especially like series book, and for a number of things (at least in my case.) We are suckers for development. We are strange creatures and mix impatience and patience as we do love and hate. Sometimes it’s just impossible to differentiate the two. While we ache to see the guy get the girl, we also want him to work for it. And that takes time, which we understand. Though it just can’t be helped to sometimes think “Oh just kiss her already!”

In my particular case, I want to see just opposite almost as much as the first. Therein lies characters that become more real and genuine, because every relationship takes work. We want to be there on the journey with them, curious to see how it ends, and curious to see how that end comes about. At the end of the book the reader has to feel something. Emotion is what drives a story, and authors should want them to feel some sort of satisfaction, that they didn’t just waste their time reading a three, four, eight part series. That’s how you lose them and that’s how I’ve been lost. I’ve read series where this has happened to me, and it turned me off the author for the rest of my life. New releases be damned.

Guys can become invested in romance as well. I’ve talked to guys where they enjoy it in their books as long as it’s not the main focus, and a few of them are sensitive to how it plays out. They can recognize illusions when they see them, and prefer genuine characters that they care about. Seriously, tell me you don’t know a fan of Harry Potter that didn’t bitch about Ron and Hoirmoine’s relationship at the end of the book? Readers know. I believe in the intelligence of my fans.

They know what they want and no one should tell the otherwise. Readers are the ones that make the sales, after all. Not the author.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Title Page

This is the cover page for my first book. I did it all myself and I'm quite proud, though I do not find it particularly impressive. The color theme I like, and it's better than simply being words on a bland background or even a substitute avatar so I'm happy. The book I plan to release very soon, as the html is done (and has been done for months) and all I'm waiting on now is to hear from reviewers. Currently I'm working on the cover for the second book in the series, Cinder Halo and the third book.

This is quite exciting and I can't wait to see what happens.