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THE SECRETS OF ATTRACTION is a companion novel to THE PROMISE OF AMAZING, and we're delighted to have Robin Constantine here to tell us more about it.
Robin, what was your inspiration for writing THE SECRETS OF ATTRACTION?
I remember telling members of my critique group that I’d love to write a series of books surrounding the same cast but fleshing out their individual stories – at the time I didn’t realize companion novels existed, so when my editor approached me about writing a book from Madison’s perspective I jumped at the chance. Madison is BFFs with the MC from my first book and she’s such a different character. She’s confident from the start and speaks her mind - it was fun to knock her off center and watch what happened.
What's your writing ritual like? Do you listen to music? Work at home or at a coffee shop or the library, etc?
I make a point to write every day. Some days that can mean 2,000 words, other days it can mean 200. It’s also different at different stages. I loathe first drafts, so that is always the toughest for me – I have to reward myself for words. I’m so grumpy at that stage. I’m happiest revising – I love that moment when everything is in place and you can play around with your characters. My best work happens at home. I’ve written in other places but I’m most comfortable in my own space, with my creature comforts nearby. I need coffee, something crunchy when I’m working through a plot point (I’m addicted to Angie’s Boom Chicka Pop!) and I’ve recently started listening to classical music for concentration too. It helps!
What advice would you most like to pass along to other writers?
Protect your joy of writing. Fiercely. There are so many things you can’t control – trends, reviews, if someone is accepting unsolicited work or not - but you do have control over your words, your craft, the time you spend learning and playing. Having your work published is a dream, but it’s also a job – so on those days when you can’t count on the muse to show up and you have to soldier through, it helps to find something you love in the process.
ABOUT THE BOOKThe Secrets of Attractionby Robin ConstantineHardcoverBalzer + BrayReleased 4/28/2015
Set in the same world as The Promise of Amazing, this smart, surprising, and (of course) romantic follow-up to Robin Constantine’s debut novel follows two New Jersey teens as they become friends and fall in love.
Madison Parker is on fast-forward. Working toward a scholarship for a summer art program, she already has her future figured out. But when a visit from a family friend turns her life upside down, everything she thought she knew becomes blurred. All she wants is to stand still for a moment.
Jesse McMann is stuck on repeat. Reeling from a breakup that shattered his heart and his band, Jesse divides his time between working as a barista and trying to find the inspiration to write music again. All he wants to do is move forward.
The night Maddie strolls into Jesse’s coffee shop after yoga class, the last thing on his mind is hooking up, but her smile and witty comebacks are hard to ignore. The spark between them is undeniable, but once-a-week flirting is hardly the stuff of epic romance.
Kismet arrives in the unlikely form of Grayson Barrett. When Jesse discovers that Gray’s girlfriend is also Maddie’s best friend, he invites Gray to join his band as their new drummer, hoping this connection will give him more time around Maddie. Slowly but surely, Jesse and Maddie forge a friendship, but do they have what it takes to make their relationship truly sync?Purchase The Secrets of Attraction at AmazonPurchase The Secrets of Attraction at IndieBoundView The Secrets of Attraction on Goodreads
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
We're pleased to have Jen Brooks join us to share more about her debut novel IN A WORLD JUST RIGHT.
Jen, what scene of IN A WORLD JUST RIGHT was really hard for you to write and why, and is that the one of which you are most proud? Or is there another scene you particularly love?
One scene I spent significant time on was the scene where Jonathan and Kylie go to the art museum. In the scene’s early drafts my readers, including my editor, felt it was long and draggy. I felt like they were questioning the importance of the scene. This was a problem because this scene was super important to me as far as the major themes in the book—responsibility for creation, the definition of “true” love, and the longing for what’s “real.” In this scene, Jonathan has serious doubts and questions about what he’s done by creating a girlfriend for himself. I must have rewritten it a dozen times to trim the excess museum stuff and focus on the essentials of the relationship in a way that didn’t seem too symbolic or metaphorical. I’m not sure how successful I was, as only one reviewer has noted the scene, but aside from the ending, it’s my favorite scene.
How long or hard was your road to publication? How many books did you write before this one, and how many never got published?
My road was fairly long, but I wouldn’t say it was hard. Hard is a relative term. When I set out on the journey, I was still teaching, and I couldn’t at that time imagine doing anything other than teach, so the beginning years didn’t feel “hard” at all. Basically, I wrote two manuscripts as thesis projects for graduate degrees. The first I sent to ten agents and let something like two years pass waiting to hear back from two of them who requested the manuscript. The second I only sent to about a dozen agents, and something like half of them requested the manuscript. While I was waiting to hear back (and, alas, accumulating rejections), I decided to keep writing. I had learned in grad school that if you write a page a day you can have a book done in a year. Since it took 5-6 years to write each of my previous manuscripts, I thought this was a pretty good challenge. In the end, I finished IN A WORLD JUST RIGHT in four months. A few months later I had an agent, and when it went on submission, it caught my editor’s attention fairly quickly. I didn’t have a whirlwind journey, as some do. It took years in total, but it was all good.
What's your writing ritual like? Do you listen to music? Work at home or at a coffee shop or the library, etc?
The only place I can write is at my desk on my big office computer. I’ve learned to do a lot of things in various places on my laptop, but writing is not one of them. In general, I need complete silence and a long stretch of time to get anything done. I wish I were the kind of writer who could squeeze in ten minutes of writing here, twenty minutes there, and because I’m not that kind of writer, it’s taken until this year, when my son is old enough to go to school full time, for me to feel like I have a real writer’s life.
ABOUT THE BOOKIn a World Just Rightby Jen BrooksHardcoverSimon & Schuster Books for Young ReadersReleased 4/28/2015
Imagination takes on new meaning for a uniquely talented teen in this debut novel that is a breathtaking blend of contemporary, fantasy, and romance.
Sometimes Jonathan Aubrey wishes he could just disappear. And as luck—or fate—would have it, he can. Ever since coming out of a coma as a kid, he has been able to create alternate worlds. Worlds where he is a superhero, or a ladies’ man, or simply a better version of himself. That’s the world he’s been escaping to most since sophomore year, a world where he has everything he doesn’t have in real life: friends, a place of honor on the track team, passing grades, and most importantly, Kylie Simms as his girlfriend.
But when Jonathan confuses his worlds senior year and tries to kiss the real Kylie Simms, everything unravels. The real Kylie actually notices Jonathan…and begins obsessing over him. The fantasy version of Kylie struggles to love Jonathan as she was created to do, and the consequences are disastrous. As his worlds collide, Jonathan must confront the truth of his power and figure out where he actually belongs—before he loses both Kylies forever. Purchase In a World Just Right at AmazonPurchase In a World Just Right at IndieBoundView In a World Just Right on Goodreads
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jen has a habit of being deeply moved by profound ideas, and her writing reflects her interest in exploring human goodness, relationships, and the feeling of being a part of something greater than oneself. She loves the science fiction and fantasy genres because of their dazzling possibilities for portraying characters and ideas. She credits her undergraduate experience at Dartmouth College, her MFA at Seton Hill University, and her fourteen years of English teaching with shaping her writing. She is grateful to her family, friends, and students for inspiring her to write.
What did you think of our interview with Jen Brooks, author of IN A WORLD JUST RIGHT? Let us know in the comments!
Martina, Jocelyn, Shelly, Jan, Lisa, Susan, and Erin
Great song, great parody. Click the image to watch on Youtube (might want to make room to dance first):
Crime writer Ruth Rendell (who also wrote as Barbara Vine) has passed away; see the overview at Literature Matters or, for example, obituaries in The Guardian and The Telegraph, or Val McDermid on No one can equal Ruth Rendell's range or accomplishment in The Guardian.
While none of her books are under review at the complete review I've read about twenty or so; I have another half dozen in reserve -- I'll generally pick up any mass-market-paperback copy I haven't read that I stumble across at any used bookstore
She is one of those reliable authors one can turn to if nothing else seems to fit the bill at a certain point, and it's always good to have a few spare still unread ones at hand should the need arise.
By: Terry Hooper-Scharf,
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....In My Case to Around 2-4000 readers a day!
I made some Ebay purchases from a dealer called hp.*saucy and it was a nightmare any comic fan/collector will understand.
"I received Avengers 400 yesterday, bent double. Bagged but no backing board. The outer packaging (I should NOT call it "packaging") was one side a piece of breakfast cereal box card and the other a flimsy piece of light corrugated card -held together by brown tape. I thought a one off and today I get Young All Stars in the SAME 'packaging' -again bent and twisted. This is NOT how you package comics -cheap but sturdy packaging is available. ."
The response to this?
"Sorry to hear that the packages sent to you were damaged in the post. I consider cardboard backing the best way to protect comics, but our opinions clearly differ. I apologise if the packaging was inadequate on these occasions. The damage you describe does sound as if excessive force had been applied.
So....now if I try to order something I get a message that I do not meet the sellers "criteria" for customers. Ask why...nothing.
Seriously, you DO NOT take someone's money for a flimsy comic and send it with cereal box cardboard and then hissy fit because you get a complaint.
Destination Venus is another Ebay dealer I've bought from. Even a single comic gets a sturdy cardboard Comic Book Flash Mailer packaging. THAT is how you send a comic -not in a brown A4 envelope, some birthday wrapping paper or worse. I mean one of these:
Silver Acre comics. Well, I kept getting the same message that I never met their criteria. No email response so I asked Ebay what was going on? They told me it was the trader's doing. I contacted the trader -yeah. They'd sell to me. Off Ebay
. And they did. Now? Still getting the same messages and they do not reply.
This tells me that (1) they are making so much money that they can afford to say "f you!" to comic buyers. (2) they really do not give a crap about the comics or how you get them so long as they get the money. (3) Package/comics damaged? Complain -you get banned.
I now see WHY old pro collectors video record packages they receive and package openings. I'm doing the same from now on. AND I am naming and shaming the bad boys from now on...and I will NOT buy from Newcadia comics in the US again, either. I don't even want to go into that!
You show the customer -me- some respect and the customer will keep giving you business. Bad traders need to be named and I've given them all a chance to sort things out or respond. If you have a blog and you get the same crap -name and shame don't just sit there taking it. It is YOUR money.
Here is something I posted before (no responses to it on the page) but the poster nails it http://www.ebay.co.uk/gds/The-proper-way-to-ship-comic-books-my-suggestion-/10000000002065018/g.html
I am often disappointed when I win an auction for a near-mint comic, wait in anticipation and when the package arrives, I find the comic is damaged. It is not that I was sent a poor quality book, but that the item was damaged during the shipping process. The situation is even worse when purchasing a CGC graded item. Recently, I purchased a CGC graded copy of Amazing Spiderman 129. The item arrived packaged in a "bubble-pack envelope". As soon as I saw the envelope I said to myself "I am exhausted with receiving expensive items so carelessly packaged". Of course the item was damaged, cracked in several places. The common response to a damaged item claim from a seller is "good thing you got the insurance" or "I will send a refund after you return the item .. ps. I do not refund shipping charges". Who needs the hassle? Who needs the time and money that is wasted chasing damaged item claims?
Listen, I know we all look for ways to cut cost but some corners should not be cut. Here are some "common sense" rules that should always be followed when considering the shipping of a graded or ungraded item.
1. Shipping Cost is not overhead ! The buyer pays the shipping ! The cost of shipping (if you calculated correctly) does not come out of your pocket.
2. Your postal provider does not care about your package any more than you do. A "FRAGILE" stamp on a flimsy package does not cause a carrier to handle your package with acutal care. And what happens when your package is in the cargo hold of a plane with a ton of other packages on top of it? Where is the care in handling then?
3. The Post Office gives away "FREE" boxes in an effort to expedite your shipping needs. So the "I couldn't find a box" excuse no longer applies.
4. The money spent in ensuring a safe delivery, pales in comparison to the money you lose when your customer returns a damaged item, along with NEGATIVE feedback.
As mentioned previously, the solution is an inexpensive product called "CARDBOARD". It is simple and easy to use, plus you can get tons of it absolutely FREE !
Packaging an ungraded item enjoys the same procedure as packaging a graded (CGC/PGX) item.
1. Take a cardboard box (stiff, flat, thick) and cut two pieces to the exact dimensions of your "BAGGED AND BOARDED" comic book or GRADED ITEM.
2. Put the item(s) between two pieces of cardboard and tape securely into place. Use clear scotch-type tape, not DUCT tape as I recently encountered in a bubble packed item. Items should not be allowed to slide around between cardboard pieces or damage could still occur to the corners of the item.
3. Place cardboard-secured item into the appropriate sized box with loosely balled-up newspaper as a buffer or insulation. The item should "float" inside the box because of the newspaper you put into the bottom of the box and on every possible side of the item.
4. Close the box and shake gently side to side, listening to hear if the item is sliding around inside box. If it is, add more newspaper to the top or bottom, or side to side because movement equals damage.
5. The newspaper is loosely balled-up because less paper is less weight. On average three comics, packed in a PRIORITY MAIL box, should weigh 1 lb. 11 oz. or less and one CGC item should weigh the same. The Post Office generally charges 4-7 dollars for Priority delivery (less than 2 lbs.) within the continental United States.
To pre-cut several pieces of card-board and to have a few boxes and newspaper on hand. This will save you time in the packing process.
NEVER use BUBBLE-PACK envelopes for shipping comics! They only protect against scratches not against impact damage which is the leading cause of damage to shipped items. Plus you will save money by using cardboard because you will never have to purchase another bubble-pack envelope. You will also, save even more money by recycling your newspaper instead of buying bubble-wrap.
This is a cost effective option to securely ship graded and ungraded comics and to ensure a safe, undamaged delivery to your customer. You will have peace-of-mind when shipping delicate and expensive items and your customers will return enthusiastic POSITIVE feedback for the care you have added in packaging their items.
Thank you for reviewing this guide.
Now, the UK Post Office does not give away free boxes but the principles are the same.
"Free postage" on an item is absolute bollox. You are giving away a comic and making a loss?
No. Your price includes the postage. Just check Ebay and you'll see it everywhere.
Or you get an item at £1.00 which is 6 times cheaper than anywhere else -bargain! Uh, no. Check postage of £6.75 which, for some of the items involved I can tell you it will NOT cost to post (especially in a cheap jiffy bag) -you are paying the FULL PRICE for the item.
There are so many horror stories out there and 99% of the time the traders are rude, even try to blame YOU for THEIR bad packaging...in the hope you'll say "screw you!" and just give in.
By: Rafael Rosado & Jorge Aguirre,
The Tehran International Book Fair opens Tuesday, with President to open 28th Intl. Book Fair, as Hassan Rouhani will be doing the honors.
I look forward to hearing reports from the fair -- and wonder whether there has been an appreciable change in the local literary (atmo)sphere.
And I am kind of curious about the guest of honor -- Oman.
One doesn't hear much about, or see much Omani literature .....
(M.Lynx Qualey has a good introductory look at her Arabic Literature (in English) weblog, Where Are Oman's Authors ?)
I have two new canvases at Oopsy Daisy -
Blog: Perpetually Adolescent
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Literary editors of both The Australian and Sydney Morning Herald newspapers commented about words and grammar in their columns this weekend. The Greatest Gatsby: A Visual Book of Grammar (Viking, Penguin) is a very clever way to help everyone understand words and grammar. Tobhy Riddle is one of Australia’s notable picture book illustrators, with works […]
By: Heidi MacDonald
Blog: PW -The Beat
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Fights and free comics weren’t the only things dropped Saturday night. WB Games, who are set to release the highly anticipated Batman: Arkham Knight game responded to fan and media criticism about their recently announced season pass option by giving away a few more details on their forums.
We now know a few more things about what your $40 will get you:
Batgirl: A Matter of Family
An all new prequel story expansion in an entirely new location where you play as Batgirl for the very first time in the Arkham series – check out the first render of Batgirl.
The Season of Infamy
Play as Batman in all new story missions featuring legendary super-villains invading Gotham City, with new story arcs, missions and gameplay features.
Gotham City Stories
Play as Batman’s key allies in narrative missions extending their storylines, from both before and after the events in Batman: Arkham Knight.
Legendary Batmobiles with Themed Tracks
Drive the most iconic Batmobiles from Batman’s 75-year history, on custom-built race tracks, each themed to that Batmobile’s specific era. Every Batmobile will be drivable across every race track.
Crimefighter Challenge Maps
Engage in a series of new challenge maps utilizing the unique play styles of Batman and his allies.
A variety of skins from across the eras for Batman, Robin, Nightwing and Catwoman.
No word on how the content will be spread out over the 6 month period they previously announced. The game’s developer, Rocksteady, did mention that they’re still working on developing even more add-on for the game which will be announced as soon as the studio “ramp on” development of the content.
Batman: Arkham Knight is set to release June 23, 2105 on PS4, Xbox One, and PC.
Question: Okay, so my MC has PTSD after being nearly-killed and drowned and set on fire and other really not nice stuff, and so he obviously suffers mentally.
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It's true TCBR readers are fans of Greek myths! That's why, this month, the National Geographic Treasury of Greek Mythology is The Children's Book Review's best selling middle grade book.
For this week's Illustration Friday prompt I decided to use one of my collages. I'm not sure the younger generation will get this 50's humor! Poor Nan.
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I’d met Sanne Dufft before at the Bologna Book Fair and was surprised when I saw her show up at the Europolitan Conference with her foot in a brace and limping on a crutch. She said that she almost canceled her trip because of her injury, but convinced herself that she had to attend. How […]
I've had two huge "I heart DePauw" moments this week. Both of them involved events at which a creative tribe gathered to celebrate an achievement of one of their own - well, three, if you count my own launch party for Izzy Barr, Running Star, which I should.
On Wednesday night I attended a reading by writer Rick Bass, who is spending the semester at DePauw as their Mary Rogers Field Distinguished University Professor of Creative Writing. Lovely Peeler Auditorium was standing room only, or rather, sitting-on-the-floor room only, with students perched everywhere to hear him read two pieces: a personal essay connected with his environmental activism work, which was both a moving and funny account of his getting arrested during White House protests against the building of the Keystone XL pipeline, and a mesmerizing literary short story about, yes, about a fish. In his comments before and after the reading, he showed such appreciation for DePauw's committed faculty and engaged students, and such love of his craft. When asked by one colleague during the Q & A, "Man, how do you DO that?" he said, "Just be specific. That's all I can say. Be specific, and the reader will follow you anywhere."
Yesterday afternoon I went to a screening of the indie film Reparation, a psychological thriller just released this year and produced with heavy DePauw/Greencastle involvement. I recognized colleagues in the cast, including a colleague's young daughter in a wonderful supporting actress role. Filming was done in Putnam County, including shots of my beloved Dairy Castle, and the downtown courthouse square and farmers' market. On the soundtrack for the film I could hear music written and performed by Gus Moon - who played for my Izzy Barr launch party! I thought the film was terrific - intense, absorbing, beautifully acted and filmed from start to finish. The small theater - our only movie theater in town - was packed.
Afterward the audience drifted across the street to the Fluttering Duck and sat outside on the patio listening to music by Gus Moon, Ron Dye (father of the young actress), and others, on a perfect May evening. There we were: writers, musicians, actors, and plenty of people who wouldn't describe themselves as any of those things, but who had helped in various ways in the making of the film, from appearing as extras to driving cast and crew to filming locations, or (as in my case) who had just come to cheer on the rest.
What is better than when your creative tribe comes together to celebrate the making of something beautiful (and extra points if it happens in a small rural county in western Indiana)? And I know the answer to that: nothing.
सिर दर्दी बनाम चैंनल
24 -24 घंटे के लगातार बिना रुके चलने वाले चैनल, जब बहस के मुद्दे पर आते हैं तो पहली बात तो प्रतिभागी को अपनी बात रखने नही देते और फिर बार बार यही बात दोहराते हैं… क्षमा कीजिए.. मेरे पास समय नही है… मेरे पास समय बहुत कम है… मेरे पास बस दो सैंकिंड हैं आप जल्दी से अपनी बात कह डालिए और फिर एक घंटे की डिबेट बिना निष्कर्ष के खत्म हो जाती है .. पर … पर … पर … बेसिर पैर की खबरे दिखाने के लिए समय ही समय है… उदाहरण के तौर पर हाल ही मैं एक खबर आई कि सलमान खान ने नेपाल भूकम्प पीडितों को अपना प्राईवेट जहाज और करोडो रुपए दिए . जबकि अभी टवीटर पर पढा कि
Superstar Salman Khan, also known for helping the underprivileged, says his Being Human foundation is not donating money to the victims of the Nepal earthquake.
“There are rumours about Being Human donating money for the Nepal earthquake. This is NOT TRUE as Being Human Foundation currently operates only in India,” Salman posted on his official page on Facebook on Saturday.
और एक अन्य खबर में वही जिस तरह से हमारा मीडिया नेपाल मे जुटा पडा था अब वहां से भी भूकंप से जुड़ी ख़बरों के भारतीय टेलीविज़न चैनलों के प्रस्तुतीकरण को लेकर सोशल मीडिया में तीखी प्रतिक्रियाएं देखी जा रही हैं.
“भारतीय मीडिया और उसके लोग ऐसे व्यवहार कर रहे हैं मानो वे कोई पारिवारिक धारावाहिक शूट करने आए हों.
“हिमाल साउथ एशियन के संपादक कनक मणि दीक्षित का कहना है कि नेपाल और नेपाल के लोग राहत और बचाव कार्यों में भारत की भूमिका के प्रति आभारी हैं, लेकिन हिंदी न्यूज़ चैनलों के प्रस्तुतिकरण का तरीका उन्हें पसंद नहीं आ रहा है.
उनका ये भी कहना है कि नेपाल में उग्र राष्ट्रवाद की भावना हमेशा से रही है जिसकी वजह से #GoHomeIndianMedia हैंडल ट्विटर पर काफ़ी देर तक ट्रेंड करता रहा. लेकिन नेपाल के अख़बारों में ऐसा कुछ नहीं छप रहा है.
कई लोगों ने भारतीय टेलीविज़न पत्रकारों पर संवेदनहीन होने का आरोप लगाया है और उन्हें सुझाव दिया है कि वे थोड़ा ऐहतियात बरतें.
एक यूज़र ज्ञान लोहनी ने ट्वीट किया, “भारतीय मीडिया की अनैतिक, तथ्यहीन और बढ़ा-चढ़ाकर दिखाई जा रही ख़बरें स्वीकार्य नहीं हैं.”
साजन राजभंडारी ने लिखा, “मुझे हैरानी है कि भारतीय अपने न्यूज़ चैनलों को रोज कैसे देखते हैं. मेरा सिर तो पाँच मिनट में ही चकरा गया.”
खबरों की तह तक जाकर अपनी बात रखनी चाहिए ना कि बस एक ही पक्ष दिखा कर किसी पर आरोप लगाकर अगली खबर पर बढ जाना चाहिए
नमक मिर्च लगाना ही नही चाहिए निष्पक्ष खबरों का वाचन करना चाहिए और जो चैनल वाले किसी पार्टी से सम्बधित है उनका लाईसैंस रद्द कर देना चाहिए( हालाकि मुश्किल जरुर है पर नामुमकिन नही) और खबरों को फोलो भी करना चाहिए ना कि आगे दौड पीछे छोड वाला रवैया रखना चाहिए …
ज्यादा दिक्कत है तो समय कम कर देना चाहिए दस धंटे या बारह धंटे ही सही पर सही खबरे ही हों… ( यकीनन अब आप को दूरदर्शन याद आ गया होगा)यकीन मानिए कम से कम सिर दर्द से तो बचेंगें
पर वही खबरे बार बार खबरे … अब आप ही बताईए कि ऐसे मीडिया को क्या कहना चाहिए …
The post Article- Headache/ media appeared first on Monica Gupta.
THE SECRETS WE KEEP is the latest novel by Trisha Leaver, and we're thrilled to have her stop by to share more about it.
Trisha, how long did you work on THE SECRETS WE KEEP?
The book itself took me about 6-8 weeks to write. I was in a good writing space and my muse seemed to be cooperating. But drafting has always been the easy part for me; it is revising that takes the most time. It took me about three months to revise THE SECRETS WE KEEP and that is editing full-time each day. And then I held onto it, didn’t share it with my CP’s or my agent for months. I wasn’t ready to part with. It was the book of my heart and, in a way, I wanted to keep it all to myself for a little bit longer. Eventually, I let three people read THE SECRETS WE KEEP from start to finish, and it was only after a not-so-gentle shove from them, that I finally passed it on to my agent.
What did this book teach you about writing and yourself?
Looking back on it, writing the first draft of this book was the easy part; revising it was HARD. I had the foundations laid down, the scenes and the characters clearly drawn out in my head. But in order to make my MC’s guilt palatable and truly feel her pain, I had to dig deeper and revise harder than I ever thought I was capable of. We have all, at some point, experienced pain, and loss, and guilt…perhaps even desperation and hopelessness. I had to recall those feelings from my own past and pull them forward, toss all those emotions into my revision. It was difficult and uncomfortable at times. But what I learned was that more often than not, the scenes that are the hardest to write are often the most powerful ones.
What do you hope readers will take away from THE SECRETS WE KEEP?
Hmm…that is a hard one. I guess, I want them to understand that it is okay to be true to yourself. That who you are is exactly who you are meant to be. Sometimes it’s hard to see past people’s expectations of yourself, and frequently our own dreams and who we think we should be are dictated by the people around us. That is sad, and wrong, and causes more pain then necessary. Embrace your creativity, trust in your own self-worth, and simply take joy in being who you are.
ABOUT THE BOOKThe Secrets We Keepby Trisha LeaverHardcoverFarrar, Straus and GirouxReleased 4/28/2015
A girl takes over her twin sister's identity in this emotionally charged page-turner about the complicated bond between sisters.
Ella and Maddy Lawton are identical twins. Ella has spent her high school years living in popular Maddy's shadows, but she has never been envious of Maddy. In fact, she's chosen the quiet, safe confines of her sketchbook over the constant battle for attention that has defined Maddy's world.
When—after a heated argument—Maddy and Ella get into a tragic accident that leaves her sister dead, Ella wakes up in the hospital surrounded by loved ones who believe she is Maddy. Feeling responsible for Maddy's death and everyone's grief, Ella makes a split-second decision to pretend to be Maddy. Soon, Ella realizes that Maddy's life was full of secrets. Caught in a web of lies, Ella is faced with two options—confess her deception or live her sister's life.Purchase The Secrets We Keep at AmazonPurchase The Secrets We Keep at IndieBoundView The Secrets We Keep on Goodreads
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dear kickers, I’m battling an ugly stomach bug this weekend, and since it’s best to be horizontal, I’ve got a short post today. I was going to feature the work of another illustrator, but I’ll have to do that later this week, since it was a much longer post.
I reviewed Frank Viva’s Outstanding in the Rain (Little, Brown, April 2015) over at BookPage (that is here), and I had planned on securing some of the beautiful spreads from the book to show you all. But again … you know, dastardly bug.
Instead, to keep things short so that I can lie back down, I’ll point you to these recent and quite wonderful posts at other places, posts all about the book — and with lots of art.
* Post at 32 Pages
* Post at Brain Pickings
* Write-up at the New York Times
Please do tell me: What are YOUR kicks this week?
A scandal about a displeased portrait client damaged the career of the most famous painter of his day, Ernest Meissonier
(French 1815-1891), and ended with the portrait thrown onto a fire.
|Ernest Meissonier, Self Portrait|
Despite his celebrity and the vast sums paid for his work, Meissonier had painted few images of women, and few portrait likenesses. This commission came in the last decade of his life and at the pinnacle of his international success.
The sitter was Mrs. J. W. Mackay, of California. After seeing the portrait nearly finished, she rejected it, and at first her husband refused to pay for it. The price was vast for 1884, estimated between ten and twenty-five thousand dollars. Meissonier responded by vowing to keep the painting and he put it on exhibition, where the public would be the judge.
In his view he had simply painted a picture that was too accurate. In her view he had made her look coarse, and made up like a painted doll.
"It seems that after Meissonier had painted the portrait, Mrs. Mackay criticised it a little and wanted it just a little more finished. It was not finished then when she went into the country, and she wrote him she would come up anytime he wanted to finish it."
"He never said a word, but finished the hands from a model of a big, coarse woman with ugly hands, and made the cheeks and lips powdered and painted frightfully, and left the neck yellow, just because he was so angry that she should dare to criticise such a great master as himself."
"Now Mrs. Mackay thought, with good reason I think, that she ought to have been the model to her own portrait, and that she could ask at least for a faint resemblance, especially as she would have to pay $15,000 for the picture."
"Without informing Mrs. Mackay as to his intentions or asking her consent, he simply sent the picture to the exhibition, where her friends saw it and told her of it. She wrote and asked for the picture, and at the close of the exhibition it was sent to her, with a bill."
"Mr. Mackay was so provoked that he wanted to make a fuss about it, but his friends persuaded him to pay it and say nothing more about it. This he did, and threw the picture in the fire. But on the same day Mr. Mackay left for America the papers: came out with the story, abusing Mrs. Mackay, and the French artists are to meet and have an indignation meeting that a canvas immortalized by Meissonier should be burned by a vulgar American."
The debate about who was in the right was taken up in all the papers on both sides of the Atlantic. An early writer about the incident
said that "Meissonier, by the haughtiness of his manner, his artistic independence, and, most of all, by his unpardonable success, had been sowing dragons teeth for half a century. And now armed enemies sprang up, and sided with the woman from California. They made it an international episode: less excuses have involved nations in war in days agone....The tide of Meissonier's prosperity began to ebb: prospective buyers kept away; those who had given commissions canceled them."
जिस तरह से रेप का ग्राफ दिनोदिन बढता जा रहा है महिला में असुरक्षा की भावना और कानून के प्रति नाराजगी बढती जा रही है … इसका अंत कब होगा … ये एक यक्ष प्रशन है .. अफसोस बेहद निराशाजनक …
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There is a new genre emerging..."New Adult" fiction for older teens aka college-aged readers. You never stop growing up, but little in the market seems to address the coming-of-age that also happens between the ages of Nineteen to Twenty-six. Life changes drastically once high school is over, you have college, first jobs, first internships, first adult relationships…Part of the appeal of NA is that the storylines are about characters who are taking on adult responsibilities for the first time without guidance from their parents. And the storylines generally have a heavy romance element.
Keep this in mind as you revise your wonderful story, New Adult books are mostly about that specific time in every person's life—the time when the apron strings are cut from your parents, you no longer have a curfew, you're experiencing the world for the very first time, in most cases, with innocent eyes. New Adult is this section of your life where you discover who you want to be, what you want to be, and what type of person you will become. This time defines you. This is the time of firsts, the time where you can't blame your parents for your own bad choices. An NA character has to take responsibility for their own choices and live with the consequences. Most storylines are about twenty-something (18 to 26) characters living their own lives without any parents breathing down their necks, and learning to solve things on their own as they would in real life. New Adult fiction focuses on switching gears, from depending on our parents to becoming full-fledged, independent adults.
I am a firm believer that if you’re going to write a certain genre that you should read it, too. So I’m going to recommend that you start devouring NA novels to get a real sense and understanding of the genre before you write one.
Here are some great recommendations: https://www.goodreads.com/genres/new-adult-romance and http://www.goodreads.com/genres/new-adult and https://www.goodreads.com/shelf/show/new-adult-romance
Just as YA is fiction about teens discovering who they are as a person, New Adult (NA) is fiction about building your own life as an actual adult. As older teen readers discover the joy of the Young Adult genres, the New Adult—demand may increase. This, in turn, would give writers the chance to explore the freedom of a slightly older protagonist (over the age of 18 and out of high school, like the brilliant novel, "BEAUTIFUL DISASTER" by the amazing talents of author, Jamie McGuire) while addressing more adult issues that early 20-year-olds must face.
Older protagonists (basically, college students) are surprisingly rare; in a panel on YA literature at Harvard’s 2008 Vericon, City of Bones author talked about pitching her novel, then about twenty-somethings, as adult fiction. After several conversations, Clare realized she had to choose between adults and teens. She went with teens.
Quote from the publisher, St. Martin’s Press: We are actively looking for great, new, cutting edge fiction with protagonists who are slightly older than YA and can appeal to an adult audience. Since twenty-somethings are devouring YA, St. Martin’s Press is seeking fiction similar to YA that can be published and marketed as adult—a sort of an “older YA” or “new adult.” In this category, they are looking for spunky but not stupid, serious but not dull, cutting-edge, supernatural stories.Quote from Georgia McBride, author (Praefatio) and founder of #YALitChat and publisher at Month9Books: "New Adult is a fabulous idea in theory, and authors seem to be excited about it. But in a world where bookstores shelf by category, to them, it is either Adult or Young Adult. Some booksellers even call their YA section “teen.” And when you have a character who is over a certain age (19 seems to be the age most consider the start of New Adult), it is received as Adult. In some cases, the designation by publishers causes more confusion than not.Let’s face it, YA is associated with teens, and at 19, most no longer consider themselves teens. So, it would support the theory of placing these “New Adult” titles in the Adult section. However, with the prevalence of eBook content, it would seem that the powers that be could easily create a New Adult category if they really wanted to...." There’s also a list on goodreads of New Adult book titles. These books focus on college age characters, late teens to early twenties, transitioning into the adult world.
Some popular authors of the NA category include:
- Jamie McGuire
- Jessica Park
- Tammara Webber
- Steph Campbell
- Liz Reinhardt
- Abbi Glines
- Colleen Hoover
- Sherry Soule
Would you buy New Adult books?
Does the genre appeal to you?
Does it sound better than YA (teen novels)?
Or are you happy with YA as it stands?
Do you consider YA to include characters that are over the age of eighteen?
At The Standard Ngũgĩ recalls his literary walk as Weep Not, Child turns 50.
This is apparently: "an adaptation from Ngũgĩ's upcoming third memoir titled: The Making of a Dream Weaver: A Makerere Memoir".
I can't find any record of it elsewhere (yet), but that's certainly something I am looking forward to.
Meanwhile, I'm most excited to be able to hear the great author in person at the PEN World Voices opening night event tomorrow !
The Sunday Post is hosted by Kimba of The Caffeinated Book Reviewer. This is a weekly meme where we can share news of the week and highlight new books received.
Ugh! Yesterday I woke up with a killer throat ache, and I feel like I’m coming down with a cold. Or my allergies are going berserk. Either way, I spent most of the day in napping and reading. I have one of my favorite comfort foods, chicken in a spicy verde sauce, simmering the crockpot today. I feel a little better, but I’ll this short and sweet.
Had a good remainder of the horse show last weekend. Elle won her championship class, but pilot error cost Pixie a chance to win one too. I’m a little angry at myself for picking up the wrong canter lead right in front of the judge, so that’s something we will be working on for the run up to the next show later this month.
The weather here is finally feeling spring-like, with 70s all weekend long! How’s the weather in your neck of the woods?
Check out my current contests! See the Contest Widget on the Sidebar to enter!
Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga’s Reviews to share new additions to our library. Click here to learn more about it.
New Arrivals at the Café:
An Ember in Ashes (2.99 preorder for Kindle)
Silver in the Blood
Legacy of Kings
Flight from Death
Sliver of Stardust
A great big thanks to the publishers for their continued support!
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