Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Anna Dressed in Blood

Okay so I ordered this book on Amazon months ago, and waited patiently for August 30th to come around. I don't know why this book looked so interesting to me, maybe because of the ghosts (I love a good paranormal about ghosts), and possibly because of the whole being told from a boys perspective. There are not enough of those out in the YA genre at the moment, and being the good big sister I keep looking for them for my kid brother. I'm only about four chapters in and I LOVE IT. It's really fun so far, entertaining, I just can't wait to finish it. I'm not sure if I'll pass it to my brother, but that's only because of the language. He's 13, so I'm careful of stuff like that.

I also get the feeling that the author was a major lover of the show Supernatural. Some of the humor, and the tough guy attitude reminds me of Dean. Even the lead character's name Cas, makes me think of the show's now bad boy angel Castiel. Speaking of Dean here's a treat just for the Supernatural lovers out there!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

In Her Skin......(shiver)

Last night, me and the honey watched the Australian film In Her Skin. I was very surprised by the film, and since I didn't read the book, the film wasn't ruined for me by comparison. Since it was a true story about the murder of a young talented and beautiful girl I couldn't help but be pulled into the inner turmoil her family experienced. It was well done, very raw and thought provoking.

The song above Caroline by John Butler Trio played at the beginning and ending of the movie. The string section is just incredible, listen, enjoy.

What really got to me, was that the murderer, a very mentally disturbed and obsessive young woman, was able to make you feel disgust as well as sympathy for her actions. It's not often that a killer can make you feel two very different things. If you haven't seen it, I'm not sure if you should, it leaves you feeling a very deep sadness, but I can't help but recommend it for the art, the characters portrayals, and how deeply it makes you think and feel. So I may not watch it again, but it was definitely an experience.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Character descriptions, and the pitfalls of passive indulgent writing.

When I came across this picture I couldn't help but save it as an example of how I see Duncan. I always hated it when I'd read a story and then the actor they used to play the character was way off from the authors description.

A perfect example of this is the movie the Queen of the Damned. Lestat was described in the books as a blond, blue eyed hunk. In the movie they used Stuart Townsend to play the charismatic vampire. Needless to say no matter how good looking Stuart was, his dark hair and looks weren't anything close to what Anne Rice described.

There aren't many movies (if any) that ever live up to what we see when we read a book. It's transcending, you can journey to places in a story that have endless possibilities. So far though, I have to say that True Blood has done a pretty good job of casting the lead characters as they are described in the stories by Charlaine Harris. I don't always agree with the direction Alan Ball goes with the story, but at least he's using what the author started instead of losing it completely.

One of the worst books to movie I've ever seen was Blood and Chocolate. Wow did they screw that one up. The book was actually pretty decent, the story of a young were-wolf who fights against her nature only to learn a deadly lesson. You can't change what you are. For a YA novel it didn't fall into the same pattern a lot of other books have been following lately. That could be because it was pre-Twilight (yes I said the T-word) but it could be because the characters were better developed, and the story wasn't at all written in a passive voice.

Ohhhh the pit fall of passive voice.......(sigh)

It is something I fight with everyday when I sit down at my computer and write. It's so easy to fall into the indulgent prose, using the thesaurus like crazy until I can't even have a conversation without using words that are less then three syllables. It's so easy to fall into the fancy elusive yuck-fest. But I'm getting off topic, self-indulgent writing is different from passive writing. I just got caught up in the anti-Twilight prose. (That doesn't mean I disliked the books either, I just can't stand the over use of fancy vocabulary, and passive voice. I enjoyed the books, just wish the editor would have convinced SM that less is more sometimes.)

That being said, sometimes passive voice is unavoidable, especially when you are trying to create a mystery.

I guess the lesson is that authors, and editors make mistakes, and then movie producers completely ruin the story. I just wanted to share my example of Duncan, and ended up whining about passive, and indulgent writing.

Happy reading!!!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

To Self Publish...........or not to self publish

So, I have been working on the first book in The Hounds of God series for a year and a half now. While I still have a lot of work to do before it is even close to being a final draft, I have started thinking about sending out Query letters, and whether or not I want to self publish. My good friend Dayspring, who is also an author, has self published quite a few books at moderate success, so that begins my quest of deciding to self publish, or not to self publish?

With ebooks popularity on the rise, and with other great authors having success (like Amanda Hocking, who wrote the superb Trylle Series), self publishing has changed quite a bit in the last few years. So to a struggling writer, who wants desperately to make a splash even if it's tiny, do I send out my query letters, or do I take the leap and fearlessly jump into the world of self publishing?

Being published is not an easy task, but neither is having the kind of success that other self publishers have had. So I'll sleep on it, work on some pages, and hope that eventually divine intervention will strike and point me in the right direction! If anyone has any input or advise please let me know what you think. I'd love to hear about someone else's experiences, be it mass publication, or self publishing.

Sweet dreams!