Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Character Description

Do you like a character to be described in full details: ie: hair colour, eyes, height etc... or do you like it to be left to your imagination?

I've read books that have both extremes.
1. Pages are spent describing every detail, from the way the blonde hair curls, right down to the tiny gold flecks in her eyes or
2. Nothing is mentioned apart from a fleeting comment about perhaps long or short hair

I prefer something in between these extremes. Hair colour and style, perhaps an eye colour, but gradually as the story builds, not all in one paragraph like the author is making a list of the character's attributes. Without even being aware of it, my mind will make up a picture of this person and sometimes when I watch the movie of a favourite book I'll be trying to marry my mind's picture with the actor and it doesn't always work.

In Twilight, I had pictured Bella's father sooooo differently to 'Charlie' in the movie, that it took me a long time to see Billy Burke as Bella's dad.

What about you? Do you like lots of description? and are there any movies that a character looked completely different to what your imagination had conjured up?

Monday, February 27, 2012

Have you ever read a book that would make a great movie?

When I write, I see the story play out in my head like a movie.

So when I see books like Hunger Games and Twilight come to life on screen, I get really excited.

Have you ever read a book that you thought would make a great movie?
What was it?
Why do you think it would work so well on screen?

Personally (and I know this will probably sounds biased!), I think the Time Spirit Trilogy would make excellent movies. The stories are fast paced and have good action sequences. I'd love to see the history brought to life. Every time Gemma travels back in time she gets to go to some very cool places. It would be so much fun to see it all on screen. A total dream come true.

I'm also reading another great book at the moment that would work well on screen - Dead Radiance. It's about a teenage girl who is actually a Valkyrie. She gets to meet Odin and discover this amazing world. I'd love to see it brought to life. It would be amazing.

So - what do you think?
Any books out there that should be brought to the attention of Hollywood?

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Introducing T G Ayer... and her gorgeous creation, Bryn


For as long as she can recall Bryn Halbrook has seen a golden aura around certain people, and it is only when her new best friend Joshua dies that she understands the glow means death. Bryn struggles to adapt to a new town and a new foster home while trying to deal with the guilt of being unable to save her friend. Until mysterious biker-boy, Aidan Lee arrives.

When Aidan unexpectedly takes off he leaves behind a shattered heart, a tonne of unanswered questions and a mysterious book that suggests Bryn is a Valkyrie. Bryn is faced with questions about Aidan’s real identity, the real reason he came to Craven, and that Odin, Freya and Valhalla just might be real.

As if accepting her new wings, new life and new home in Asgard isn’t difficult enough, Bryn is forced to find and return the precious necklace of the Goddess Freya.. The only problem is – if she fails, Aidan will die.

The mystery of a Mythology is easy to enjoy. The reality is much harder to accept.

It is my absolute pleasure to be able to introduce my friend, T G Ayer. We met a couple of years ago at a writer's conference. We soon became critique partners and now we are in contact daily. We have been walking this writer's journey together, supporting each other and becoming great friends.
In short, T G Ayer totally rocks :)

And so does her writing...

Dead Radiance is T G Ayer's debut novel. It is amazing. Her writing is elegant, sophisticated and pulls you into the story straight away. She has created a world of diverse characters - some lovable, some not so much. It is a great mix for this unique story. I taught Norse mythology at school one year and loved it, so when I found out Tee was writing a story based on this, I was very excited.

Trust me when I tell you, that you really must add this book to your reading list. It is a fascinating read filled with mystery, wonder and action. Bryn, the gorgeous MC drives this story forward with gusto. She is a strong, yet compassionate girl with a sharp tongue and a clever wit. Although she's just a teenage foster kid, she is also a warrior... a Valkyrie.

Life for her is not easy. She has had to face many heartaches for her young years - the most obvious being the fact that she must stand by and helplessly watch as the people she cares about draw nearer and nearer to death.

Here Bryn takes a few moments to describe what it is really like...

     I've seen the glow all my life. You could say it is the bane of my existence. I mean, how many kids have psychiatrists at age five? My dad was great though. At least he seemed to understand me. He didn't behave like he didn't believe me. My mother, on the other hand - well I'd rather not talk about her right now.
     Besides, I don't have much luck with people. They either die on me or they leave. People just don't waste time hanging with the Freak. The stupid name is more appropriate than the kids at North Wood high could ever have known. What would they think if they knew I saw weird golden glows around people? Bet they'd have a field day with that!
     The thing that upsets me the most is that it had to be Joshua that has the glow too. It was okay until I figured it out. Joshua, the best friend I've ever had, is going to die. Sometime soon, and I can't do anything about it. Risk telling someone what I suspect? You've got to be kidding. I've spent way too much time under a psychiatrist's scrutiny. Not going to happen.
     I've resigned myself to waiting. Waiting for Joshua to die. I have no idea how it will happen. Just that he doesn't have much time left. And in the meantime all I can do is keep smiling, keep acting like nothing is wrong. Keep acting like I can't see the blindingly bright glow around my dearest friend. An achingly beautiful golden aura that hurts so deeply. 
     I am already grieving for him.
     I wish I could change it, prevent it. But I know I don't have the power.
     Joshua is going to die and there is nothing I can do about it.

You can buy either digital or paperback copies of this fantastic book on Amazon - Dead Radiance.

And you can connect with T G Ayer here:

Twitter: @TGAyer Author

This is going to be such a great tour - make sure you check out the other blogs along the way.

24/2  Friday Feature - Author Interview with Kim Koning 
25/2  Take Ten Questions with Maria V Snyder
26/2  Melissa Pearl – Author Interview
Guest Post
28/2  Interview With Megan
29/2  Syd Interviews Bryn
01/3  Guest Post + Giveaway
03/3  Interview
04/3  Interview
05/3  Song Post
06/3  Q&A with Mandy
07/3  Interview
08/3  Review and Interview
09/3  Interview

Friday, February 24, 2012

Friday Favourites - Scene

As a writer, I have particular scenes that I just love writing. You may be surprised, but I actually love writing a really good argument. It's probably because I am so useless in reality. I get all tongue-tied and flustered. I can never think of the right thing to say and always walk away feeling defeated. Hours later I come up with a myriad of things I could have retorted with, but it's always too late.

However in fiction, I have much more control over how the argument plays out. Sure - one character will often walk away defeated, but I can say which character that is :)

There's something so vibrant and passionate about a heated discourse. Emotions flare, nasty things are said, conflict abounds - so much fun :) And the best part is that after the storm (sometimes WAY after the storm) there is that peaceful, sweet scene where things are resolved.

So - some of my favourite scenes to write are arguments. (Let's be honest, I actually love writing every kind of scene, but arguments are super fun.)

My favourite scenes to read are normally action sequences - the tense, fast-paced kind, or the scenes where someone is rescued. I also love a decent romantic scene - sweet words are spoken, passionate kisses follow in their wake - you know the ones.

What are your favourite scenes to read or write?

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Book Cover Reveal!!

We are super excited to show you our book cover for Forbidden Territory (first of the Mica and Lexy series), due for release in July this year!

We are busy preparing the manuscript doing final edits and will be giving it out to our second lot of beta readers shortly. This book has evolved a lot in the last six years to something Melissa and I are really excited about. The girls in this story are so much fun to write and when they get in trouble (and DO they get in trouble!) the actions scenes are fast paced and entwined with romantic angst. All my favourite stuff!

Anyway here is the blurb. Hope you like it!

Mica and Lexy have been best friends and next door neighbours since they were eight years old. They share everything and have no secrets from each other until... Tom arrives on Mica's doorstep. A gorgeous exchange student from England. And Lexy is smitten.

Suddenly both girls are keeping secrets. Mica is hiding news about Tom's English girlfriend and Lexy hasn't got the heart to tell her best friend that her brother Eli, the guy Mica is mad on, thinks of her as only a friend.

After a massive fight, the girls decide the best way to mend their friendship is to spend some quality time together. And what better way than to go camping away from their parents and why not invite along the guys they are crushing on.

So the four teenagers embark on a geo-caching expedition into New Zealand's native bush expecting a long weekend filled with flirtatious fun; instead secrets are exposed as they stumble across a hidden marijuana crop and its gun-wielding watchmen. Forced apart they spend the next forty-eight hours racing blindly in opposite directions as they fight to find each other before the hunters do.

Are there any other books pending release that you are excited about reading?

Monday, February 20, 2012

How Does It Work?

Since Brenda posted about best friends on Friday, I thought I'd follow it up with a post about how we have written Forbidden Territory together.

Co-authoring a book can be challenging, but it really does help when the person you're writing with is your best friend. We surf the same thought waves and often come up with similar ideas. We were actually geo-caching with our husbands when we first thought of the story. We thought it would be fun to write a book about teenagers geo-caching in the woods and getting into trouble.

By the end of the day we had both talked about the kinds of characters we wanted to write and voila! we had a story.

I really liked the idea of writing a person who was nothing like me - someone feisty, argumentative, strong willed. A fiery red head with personality to spare. That's how Mica was born. I, of course, needed a love interest for her, someone who could match her, not back down and put her in her place when she needed it. Eli came to life very quickly in Mica's wake.

Brenda wanted to write someone who would be the opposite of Mica. Lexy arrived on the scene. We decided to make her Eli's sister to add another dynamic that would be fun to play with. Then we had to decide who Lexy could fall in love with. Because Lexy is quite strong in her own, quiet way, Brenda was quite keen on writing a male character that didn't fit the general mold. So she created Tom - a sweet, gorgeous, exchange student from England. Since Eli and Lexy lived together, we decided to make Tom move in with Mica.

With four very different personalities all living within a few metres of each other (next door neighbours) the relationship issues have abounded and it has been so much fun.

When I talk to people about this project they ask me how we have managed to co-write the book. It's been easy. I took the characters of Mica & Eli under my wing and Brenda is in charge of Lexy & Tom. We started by getting the two girls to write diary entries. This helped us get to know the characters inside out - all their darkest secrets and histories.

Together we then plotted out the physical elements of the adventure, discussing what kind of trouble we wanted them to get into and mapping out a story arc. After that we each took our characters away and decided on their emotional journey. If I need Eli to do or say something around Lexy, Brenda will write that into her scene - same with any Mica bits that aren't written from her POV.

Communication to our success is really the key. We write on our own, but edit together. We discuss any key plot points beforehand so the other person knows which direction you are taking the story. We are never offended if the other disagrees - although that rarely happens - like I said - we surf the same thought waves :) All we need is quiet spot together when we can have some uninterrupted time to talk our butts off.

Has anyone out there written a co-authored story before? How did you work it?
Has anyone read a co-authored story before? Did you like it? Was it obvious there were two authors?

Friday, February 17, 2012

Friday Favourites - main characters best friend

I was thinking about Anne of Green Gables a lot this week. (The show was one of my faves as a kid and I read the books because my mum said to) Anyway, Anne's best friend was Diana, and never has a character annoyed me more. She is drippy and annoying (my friend loves her though). Then it got me thinking about the book I'm writing with my Melissa (more details coming in a week or two) which is about best friends Mica and Lexy. Now I love both these girls, they are very different but both have spunk (never are drippy in my opinion).

I tried to think of other books that had two girls or a main character with a best friend. But of all the books I've read recently, NONE have a best friend.
- Amy Plum's 'Die for me' doesn't mention any other friends, only a sister.
- Bella in 'Twilight' mentions a few other girls, but no best friend. In fact it doesn't mention ANYONE from her past before living in Forks... isn't that a bit strange?
- Beth in 'The Lucky One' has no other girlfriends, and seems to talk only to her nana...

I find this utterly unrealistic. Not only do I have an amazing best friend, but we talk daily. Not always in person or on the phone, but definitely via email or text. We tell each other almost everything...

Do you have a best friend like this?
Do you know any books that have a best friend like this in them, as I'm really struggling to think of any.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Book & Movie Review ~ The Last Song

The Last Song by Nicholas Sparks

Blurb: A drama centered on a rebellious girl who is sent to a Southern beach town for the summer to stay with her father. Through their mutual love of music, the estranged duo learn to reconnect.

Usually I read a book first then see the movie, but I did it the other way around this time...

The movie: I found Ronnie in the movie to be quite pouty and annoying. Then suddenly she takes an about turn when the turtles show up and becomes caring and passionate. The dad on the other hand I like straight away and love his parenting attitude when faced with his surly daughter. Of course his parenting choices become clearer near the end when we hit a bump in the road. I liked the movie, it had a few deeper issues than just teen rebellion and I love teen movies about first love. I'd give this movie a 3 out of 5.

The book: You expect a sad ending when you read a Nicholas Sparks novel. This one delivered but with a happy twist as well. I love the journey of Ronnie, a surly teen, as she gets to know her father again, finds out the truth of what happened between her parents and falls in love. The book scores slightly higher than the movie with a 3.5 out of 5.

The Movie vs Book (spoilers): The book, as usual, provides a heap more details than a movie ever could. Why the father left the mother is explained in the book, which I would have liked to know in the movie (and I would have liked the father even more!) The book gave Ronnie much more reason for her bad behaviour and explained much more about Marcus and Blaze. I liked both book and movie for different reasons. I'm a sucker for seeing lovey dovey stuff on screen and first kisses. If you liked the movie, give the book a go, you won't regret it!

Monday, February 13, 2012

It's This Week! It's This Week!

Do you ever get so excited about something, you're counting sleeps days before the event?


Pure Blood comes out this week! In like three sleeps!! (And yes, I've been counting for a while :))
February 16th - kiwi time is my release date and I'm kinda excited... just a lil' bit :)

It will be so cool to have all three books out there. Now everyone can finally see if Gemma and Harrison are going to make it.

It's been interesting preparing Pure Blood for release. Black Blood is actually my favourite out of the three, so I've been having major doubts over how good Pure Blood really is. But then my mind wanders over all the little links finally connecting and the very explosive ending and I realize that Pure Blood does indeed rock... at least I hope that's what you'll think :)

If you'd like a chance to win e-copies of the entire trilogy, an Amazon gift voucher and e-copies of Pure Blood then please check out my giveaway on my Melissa Pearl Blog.

I have also featured the Pure Blood Trailer.

Oh yeah - and here's the cover :)

Thanks Amanda - you have yet again done a fantastic job. And thank you to my gorgeous models - Camilla and Ben. You guys rock :)

It has been a really long journey getting to this point (3 years), but I've loved every minute of it and to hear that people are enjoying Golden Blood and Black Blood has made every minute of effort worth it.

Can't wait to hear what you guys think of Pure Blood.

Have a great week everyone. You'll be hearing from me again soon - SQUEEE!!!!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Friday Favourites - Trailers

I have been thinking a lot about movie and book trailers lately. Last week on my YA Indie Carnival post, I discussed whether or not book trailers were a good or bad thing. I've also just put together a book trailer for Pure Blood (Book #3 in the Time Spirit Trilogy).

Personally, I LOVE trailers for both movies and books. Usually once a week I'll log on to Apple Trailers and down load a bunch of goodies.

What is it about trailers that are so inspiring?
I often feel goosebumps popping over my skin if it's a really good one.

Take the Hunger Games trailers for example. Now those are awesome!!

Have you seen any trailers recently that have made you desperate to see the movie or read the book?
Off the top of your head, what's your favourite YA trailer?

Because I've just talked about Hunger Games, I'm gonna go with that.
And for your viewing pleasure...

Friday, February 3, 2012

Friday Favourites - Girls Who Can Kick A Little Butt

I don't know what it is, but there is something so ultra cool about a girl who can kick some butt. I love watching movies or reading a book where the girl is physically very capable and doesn't need a guy to rescue her.

I guess that's why I wrote Gemma the way I did... and man, was it fun! I love the way she can take care of herself. Because I'm totally biased, I'd say she was my fav.

However there are many girls out there to be celebrated. So I'd also like to include...

Katniss from the Hunger Games series. She is awesome and I can't wait to see her on screen later this year. Excitement!!!

I also quite like Cammie Morgan from "I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have To Kill You". Her friend, Rebecca Baxter, can be pretty fierce too. Lots of fun :)

And I feel like I can't ignore the one and only, Hermione Granger. Now there is a girl who knows how to cast a decent spell.

So - who are your favourite kick ass girls?

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Do you keep a diary or journal?

Do you keep a diary/journal?

I do (yes even as a mum and wife) and although I don't write in it as much as I did when I was 15, it still contains almost all my secrets and important events! Other than my bestie and hubby, it was the first to know I was pregnant :-)

I was reading through my teenage diary last week, and it was all about my friends and boys. Love it. For some reason I blacked out some bits that I obviously didn't want my adult self to read (lol).

Anyway the reason I brought up diaries is, when Melissa and I decided to write our book Forbidden Territory, we got to know our characters by getting them (Mica and Lexy) to write in their diaries. Not only was it super fun, but it totally helped us learn who the girls were, what they wanted out of life and how they thought.

What sort of things do you tell your diary? And, do you think some day, if you have kids, you'll let them read your diary? I'm still undecided!