June 23, 2011

AWOL

The Plan: I'm goin' a lil bit off-the-grid to get some writing done. I have an intimidating writing project in mind. Want a hint? GRAHAM.

Graham is one of those guys who'll tell you how he feels about stuff, in detail, if asked. If not asked, he's just downright mysterious. I wondered what it might be like in his head, since he didn't really get his say in Between the Lines. So that's what I'm working on.

June 17, 2011

Trailer: Between the Lines

Here's my new book trailer, designed and created by MG Buehrlen, who is (obviously) a GENIUS:

June 13, 2011

Reading is My Drug of Choice

I'm in the middle of making revisions to my WIP (work-in-progress), and helping a critique partner with edits on hers. Add a job and a family and suddenly my free time is very short. But I've always loved to read and seldom have I been without at least a small stack of unread material to choose from.

Lately, though - for the first time ever - my reading material is piling up. I know the reasons for this (writing - which I love to do), but I have to admit, I miss having nothing to do with my bit of free time but read.

On my nightstand: 9 unread novels

On my bedroom bookshelf: 8 unread novels

On my Kindle: 8 unread samples, 4 purchased-but-unread novels

And today, I ordered 3 books from Amazon! Where am I going to put them?? I have no idea.

I think I have a problem...

June 11, 2011

Semi-Rambling Answers

(Warning: This post is a bit spoilery if you haven't read Between the Lines.)

I'd like to answer three questions from readers about Between the Lines.

One: Why Reid's POV?

My first draft of Between the Lines was Emma's POV only. This caused Reid's motivations to remain unclear throughout most of the book. I couldn't convey them to the reader through Emma's eyes, because he was very good at hiding his true self. Accordingly, the reality of him was a huge shock and seemed forced or tacked on when it was anything but.

At some point, I knew that what Emma thought she knew about Reid needed to be balanced with actual Reid. I had to let the reader into his head. And once I let him loose to think out loud, boy did he.

When I saw actor Alex Pettyfer in commercials for I Am Number Four and Beastly a couple of months ago, I was shocked at how much he looked like the Reid I'd pictured in my mind's eye while writing him. Then I saw him on Ellen and thought he seemed kind of sweet.

And then I read an interview with him that included a conversation about some of his tattoos, one of which is located just above his crotch and says, "Thank you." When asked why he chose that particular phrase, he allegedly smirked and said: "Well, I forget to say it sometimes." Oh, dude. Really?

I had to laugh, because I hadn't expected him to actually be Reid. (Though I like to think Reid would be smart enough not to give that explanation to a reporter.) I also felt vindicated. Are young, hot Hollywood celebrities as arrogant and sexually corrupt as I'd shown Reid to be? Yeah, some are. Unapologetically so.

Two: But why not Graham's POV instead?

What did you believe about Graham as you read? What did you think he might be feeling? What did you worry he was doing or hiding? Or doing and hiding?

If I'd let readers into Graham's head, all his behind-the-scenes goings-on would have been revealed early on. It felt imperative to keep his secrets and let the reader learn them along with Emma, so I never once seriously considered writing Graham's POV.

Three: Why all the cursing and drinking and sexual escapades in a YA book?

As I sat eating lunch near a group of gangly boys in the university food court a couple of years ago, I thought my hair would catch on fire from some of the subjects they discussed and they way they discussed them. The talk about drinking and partying was typical and the language was atrocious (nothing I've written has come near it), but these were nothing compared to their objectifying analysis of the opposite gender. I would have loved to have recorded that conversation so I could show it to every girl who ever attends Freshman Orientation.

June 5, 2011

Work in Progress. Kinda.

I have a split personality when it comes to writing.

If I allow myself to go with the flow, this works out quite well because one side is creative, and the other is revisionary. Problems come from trying to force myself to do one when I'm in the mood to do the other. If I feel like creating and I force myself to work on edits, I can usually work around it, but I sometimes end up adding as much as I cut.

The worst is when I'm in the mood to edit and I'm trying to write. This is when I have staring contests with my laptop screen. (And yeah, I pretty much always blink first.) I can work all day on what turns out to be one freaking paragraph, which I might later judge as crap.

This weekend, I've been working on edits to my WIP. I currently have two critique partners and several invaluable beta-readers, and I got lots of editing notes back this week. One of my critique partners can't get to the manuscript until July, and since she's my toughest critic, I want to get through everyone else's revision suggestions before she sees it! (Sneaky, huh?)

The saddest thing is I've been unable to read as much as I'd like lately (my official to-read list doesn't even contain everything I'm currently "reading," and some nights I'm really anxious to spend some time curled up with a book or my Kindle). I had to skip the "Epic Readathon" yesterday that fellow author Tiffany King was helping host, which was a bummer. I participated by cheering from the sidelines.

The good news is I got a lot done yesterday. I've got 8-10 hours of work ahead of me today if I want to hit my goal of getting through all edits I've received so far, so I'd better get back to it.