Favorite Fiction FanArt

 

Just had to share possibly the coolest version of fan art I have yet to see. Here is the link to see some of his other work or to learn more about the artist and his museum: Matchstick Marvels.

 

Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizadry…

hogwartsmatchsticks

 

Tolkein’s Minas Tirith from Lord of the Rings…

 

tolkeinmatchsticks

 

 

Then I got to thinking about other sorts of fan art our favorite fiction might inspire and I thought, I wonder how many people love certain books so much that they get *ahem* more permanent versions…

 

Dumbledore…

dumbledore_tatt

 

Harry Potter…

 

harrypottertat

Snape…

snape

 

Twilight: 

 

normal_twilight_tattoo-02                     real-twilight-tattoo-twilight-series-4802713-480-6401

 

And Finally, Elf Ears, inspired by Lord of the Rings…

 

elfears

Review in Questions: I’d Tell You I Love You But Then I’d Have to Kill You

The Gallagher Academy for Exceptional Young Women is a fairly typical all-girls schools–that is, it would be if every school taught advanced martial arts in PE and the latest in chemical warfare in science, and students received extra credit for breaking CIA codes in computer class. The Gallagher Academy might claim to be a school for geniuses, but it’s really a school for spies.

 

ityily


Cammie Morgan is a second-generation Gallagher Girl, and by her sophomore year she’s already fluent in fourteen languages and capable of killing a man in seven different ways (one of which involves a piece of uncooked spaghetti). But the one thing the Gallagher Academy hasn’t prepared her for is what to do when she falls for a boy who think’s she’s an ordinary girl.

 

Favorite thing about the book?

The voice is great. Not annoying, but still very teenager. Cammie is clever and likable. However, my favorite part was definitely the format of the book. We talked last week about first person POV and, one of my favorite things to see in a first person narrative is a creative format, a creative reason why the narrator is telling his or her story. 

In this book, the narrative is couched in a Covert Operations Report, which Cammie has been encouraged to write in order to detail her involvement in the events of the semester before. 

Obligatory least favorite thing about the book?

Not sure what happened with one of the main characters. She didn’t really play a part in the end, which was really too bad. Although, I assume she’ll play a major role in the later books. 

What was most surprising about the book?

The last page–sorry, no spoilers here. There’s a quick little sentence, though, that surprised me. 

Favorite Character?

Macey McHenry

Underlying themes?

Girl Power. I think the reader gets hammered on the head with this one. 

After this book you felt…?

Amused and happy. 

Who would you recommend this book to?

Folks that like the teenagery YA voice, but with less angst. 

Fans of Harry Potter or House of Night that are craving the boarding school-set series. 

Readers who enjoy the girl power messages of E. Lockhart. 

Finally, how long did it take you to read?

This is sort of embarrassing, but I started reading this in July of ’08! Honestly, this has nothing to do with the quality of the book. Nate read it in a day. But, I would describe it not so much as a can’t-put-it-down type book, but a happy read. I kept picking up this book when I wanted a laugh or feel amused. It’s a nice book for the nightstand and always put me in a good mood. It’s just so darn cute. 

Actually, though, my timing is good because Gallagher Girls #3 comes out soon, so y’all are just in time to read the first two if you so desire and then pick up Don’t Judge a Girl by Her Cover

 

Fenceposts for Your First Person Narrative

This week I’m going to be talking about writing in first person. I know that I struggled with the idea of writing in first person. I don’t find it the most natural mode of storytelling and always feel a bit of “Why is the character telling me this?” 

But, I’d say the vast majority of YA novels are written in first person and I’ve come to love it. First person adds voice and sympathy for the protagonist. There is no closer narrative form than that of first person. So embrace. I did.

The first work I switched over to first person landed me an agent. Of course, that’s not to say that everyone should write in first person. I love Melissa Marr’s works, written in alternating 3rd limited POV. 

Rather this series of posts is meant to help those interested in a foray into first person. And please, feel free to leave your tips and comments below. Thanks!

 

So today I’m talking about fashioning fenceposts. *So much alliteration, I can hardly handle it!* Anyway, fenceposts are something I use before I start writing. If you want to outline before this point that is more than fine. But, fenceposts are there to help you find your voice. 

I think I can explain this best through illustration. 

From I’d Tell You I Love You But Then I’d Have To Kill You by Ally Carter, narrated by Cammie:

“We waited two weeks. TWO WEEKS! Do you know how long that is in fifteen-year-old-girl time? A lot. A LOT, a lot. I was really starting to empathize with all htose women who talk about biological clocks.”

“Okay, so I didn’t know the Jacksons, much less how Granny way feeling, but Gradma Morgan had taught me that Chinese Water Torture is nothing compared to a grandmother who really wants to know something.”

 

From The Forest of Hands and Teeth (because it’s fresh in my mind) by Carrie Ryan, narrated by Mary:

“But there are times when I stand at the edge of the Forest of Hands and Teeth and look out at the wilderness that stretches on forever and wonder what it would be like if it were all water.”

“Inside it feels as though the stone walls drain the heat of the day and the hairs on my arms stand on end.”

 

Or from Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling [Not in 1st person, but definitely a fencepost for Hermione's voice]:

“Just because you’ve got the emotional range of a teaspoon doesn’t mean we all have.”

 

Ok, so of course, I don’t know what these authors did or how they started or anything like that. But what I do, prior to beginning, is talk in my characters voice. I get out a notebook and just think of random things that my narrating character would say. These become my posts. 

Naturally, the focus is not so much on what the character says, but how the character says it. 

I started with an opening line: “If the gnashing teeth ten feet behind didn’t kill me, my dad would. But that was a problem for Future Scout.” 

That was fencepost #1. 

One of my other earlier fenceposts was: “The fact that my eyes hadn’t burned crop circles in place of his nostrils felt like a small miracle. Of course God would be on his side.”

We’ll call that fencepost #2. 

 

After the creation of several more fenceposts, I’m left with a bunch of supporting structures jutting out vertically. That’s good. I’ve got them written down in no particular order, but I’m going to work with them. Because to build the actual fence, I need to constantly link back to the posts. 

Voice is about consistency. The character has to own the voice you give him or her. So these fenceposts you create are there to refer and link back to. Each sentence you write in first person has to be close enough to attach to one of the vertical posts. 

That’s the real danger with first person, I think. You want to go into some beautiful description about what the passage of time feels like, but Cammie Morgan is just going to say that it is A LOT of time in fifteen-year-old-girl time. Yanno?

Or you might want to describe the setting really eloquently. If you are writing from Mary’s perspective, you can get away with the pensive, lovely description. If you are Cammie Morgan, you can’t. Not ever ever. Never. Seriously.

So, start out by writing your fenceposts and in every sentence ask, Is that too far away from one of my fenceposts to link back to?

When I Grow Up…

 

I was thinking about what I’d like my writing career to look like. Or,  more specifically whose writing career I would like mine to resemble.  Here’s what I came up with:

 

Stephen King for his prolifity, his need to write, and they way, even though writing is his job, he’s found comfort and therapy in the process.

J.K. Rowling for her ability to improve her craft and storytelling with each of her books and her incredible knack for worldbuilding.

Melissa Marr for her gift of describing for all the senses and for her love of the creative process.

Carrie Ryan for her tenacity in pursuing and succeeding at a career in writing in the midst of braving law school and being a lawyer–very near and dear to my heart!

Jennifer Lynn Barnes for maintaining what appears to be a remarkably balanced life (pursuing a PhD, keeping up with friends, reading a zillion books a minute, and watching hours of TV–how does she do it?) and for working to recover the joy of writing.

Neil Gaiman for writing awesome comics and equally awesome novels and for his ability to expand his writing into virtually all possible mediums.

Laurie Halse Anderson for being able to write successfully two very different genres.

There are so many other fabulous authors out there who have influenced me and encouraged me and whose careers I would love to emulate. Thank you to all the awesome authors who pave the way ahead of us!

 

Status: Writing. Writing. Writing. American Idol. Lost. Real life work. Writing.

2009 Debutante Author Interview Series: C. Lee McKenzie

It’s not a heart-grabbing noise like when somebody jiggles the doorknob to see if it’s locked. It’s not a bitter smell like the electrical short we had last month, when all the breakers popped. No. It’s something in the air, something like a ghost making its way through the room. And it can’t be Monster, not after last night.

sliding_cover_small1

C. Lee McKenzie’s here! She has her debut novel, Sliding on the Edge, coming out from WestSide Books in April and she was kind enough to answer all the questions I had about her road to publication. Thanks, C. Lee!

Sliding on the Edge is your debut novel, so a big congrats on that. But can you give us a little statistical rundown on how long it took you to get to this point? How many books? How many rejections? How many days, months, years?
I had to dig into my archives to answer this one. I’ve written two Middle Grade stories that are gathering moss on my C drive. Sliding is my first YA and I think I sent queries and sample chapters to about six publishers who either didn’t think it suited their mix or didn’t respond. As to how long this book has been in the pre-birthing phase: I started thinking about it in 2006. I wrote some of the ideas down in my notebook (something I consider an additional appendage) through the first part of 2007; then I started actually putting those ideas into scenes and chapters. I hauled what I now refer to as the first draft to a conference and was asked, “What made you write about something like this?” It wasn’t a nice question, BTW, and I was thoroughly discouraged for about half an hour. I finally sold the book in January of 2008. So . . . three books, seven rejections, two years to sale, three years and three months to publication.
Seven rejections! That’s it? Pretty amazing! Which “Call” thrilled you more? The call in which you landed an agent or the call in which you landed your book deal?
Wish I had a comparison to offer, but I don’t have an agent. I’m flying solo without any pre-flight instruction. But talking to my editor is an all-time high, so as life moments go, I’d rank our discussions right up there at the top. The first time we spoke the conversation was pretty one-sided with her doing most of the talking. I was working on breathing while I searched for the part of my brain that knew words. I guess you’d describe the moment as “exciting,” but that’s such an inadequate word.

I’m so impressed by authors who can go it alone. Congrats on making that sale. I know you also write Middle Grade fiction. How do you switch gears when writing between two different age groups? Are there certain things you need to keep in mind for each?
I guess my head just goes into another place when I’m writing and if I’m into MG, I sort of nestle into my pre-teen self. It’s still in there, waiting to be noticed and enjoyed again. My angsty YA is pretty demanding. It has a lot to say, so when I’m there things kind of pour out, like sweat after a run. I’m not really “in” my usual mind when I write. I can’t explain it very well, except to say that I kind of slip into my character(s) and they tell me stuff. So I guess my answer is I don’t have any problems about keeping the two genres separate.

This is Fumbling with Fiction, so I have to ask, in your writing career have you ever had a big “Oops!” moment?
Only one? I hope I’m allowed more than that because I’m way over my quota if I’m not. My biggest oops is probably sending a query addressed to one publisher to another. That was super embarrassing, but the publisher was kind and returned the letter to me with something like “oops!” (and not dodo bird) written across the top. She also included a short note saying she liked my idea, but it wouldn’t work for her house. Sigh.
Hey, we’ve all been there. Or at least I have! You’re now at the beginning of your writing career. Can you believe it? Where would you like that sure-to-be illustrious career to take you?
I’d be very happy to see another book of mine on the shelves and in the hands of readers. I’ve completed (loosely speaking) another YA novel and am working on a third, so I guess I’m thinking continued publication would please me greatly.

Tell us a little about receiving your first rejection. What was yours like? How did you feel when you received it?

My first one? Oh not that! It was horrible. They actually rejected my book (one of my Middle Grades). How could they? That book was positively brilliant. It was the next Harry Potter of the publishing world. Of course, after a few years I came to recognize that the brilliance was more in my head than on the page.

Well, hopefully your upcoming book will be the next Harry Potter, right? Finally, if you could have written one book previously published by another author, which book would it be?
This is not only the last, but also the most difficult question, Chandler. Thinking. Thinking. Thinking. Only one? I seem to be asking that question a lot in this interview. Well, I’ve been re-reading S.E. Hinton lately, and I really love the way she captures the young male adults in her books. So I guess I’d choose my favorite among her publications and say I wish I could have written Rumble Fish.

Are You Excited for Edward or Telling Bella to ‘Bite Me’?

T minus 26 hours til I see Twilight the movie!!!

Yes, Nate and I have been holding a countdown. We can’t help it. We are very excited. Don’t hate.

No, I must admit that I have high hopes this movie. But it could go one of two ways: Harry Potter or Eragon.

Personally, I find the Harry Potter movies fantastic–and that’s coming from a HUGE fan of the books.

The Eragon movie—umm, not so much. 

I truly felt that the problem with the Eragon movie was that they rushed production in order to ride the relatively rapid wave popularity for the first book and to increase sales of the 2nd two books.  

So the question is: has Twilight been so ingrained in the minds of the fanbase and the minds of Americans so as to produce a movie that reflects what the fans want?

I actually think so.

I think that there will be some departures from the book, but, from what I’ve seen, they actually might be fore the better.  (More action, etc.)

I want baaaadly for this movie to do well enough for them to produce the next three! That’s huge for me.

Ok, other random thoughts:

Bella. I’ve heard a lot of complaints about the choice of Kristen Stewart as Twilight’s heroine. I don’t want to give away too much about the later books for those who haven’t read them, but I do think they chose her because she has a wide range of looks. And let’s face it, Bella isn’t supposed to be traditionally really pretty. She’s also supposed to be a tomboy. I’m going to give her a fair shot.

Robert Pattinson. Ummm, can we say Cedric Diggory? But why is he so weird in real life?

What about the choice for Alice? I’ve heard people bothered by her, but I can’t say I really mind. At least not looks-wise.

Tickets? Did y’all have a hard time buying them? I bought mine a couple days ago and almost everywhere was sold out. Craziness!

 

 

Alright, tell me what you think. Are you excited? Or couldn’t care less? I’ll bee seing it at 11:40 tomorrow tonight and will report back!!

 

Status: Buckling down doing law school work right now. Will be doing that for about a month, but luckily I got a ton done over the past few months, so I have plenty of spits in the fire! Come winter break I’ll be hard at work again developing some other ideas I have percolating. Meanwhile, the blog will be in full swing and I’ll be waiting on news the next couple weeks.

Book Review: Breaking Dawn

Spoiler Alert!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Spoiler Alert!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Spoiler Alert!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Spoiler Alert!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Spoiler Alert!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Spoiler Alert!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

 

 

So, yeah, spoiler alert. I usually don’t talk about the content of a book when I review it. That way people can read the review and decide whether or not the book is for them, but with Breaking Dawn, I don’t think there is another way to effectively discuss it. So, Spoiler Alert!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

First of all, this book is a saga all in itself. Therefore, it’s easy, I think, to have several different opinions of it. Because with the scope of the thing, I’m fairly sure it could have been broken into two or more good sized books.

There has been a ton of talk about what people hated about this book. Some legitimate, some a bit petty, i think. So I’m going to start with popular criticism and give my take on them then move onto my own Likes And Gripes. 

 

Popular Criticism:

 

1. “Jacob imprinting on Bella’s daughter is creepy”: Yanno, I didn’t really think so. Stephenie Meyer went to great pains to explain to us why wolves imprinting on babies is not as yucky as it sounds. She prepared us in Eclipse with Quil and Claire. There wasn’t quite the outcry then. Imprinting for Jacob and Renesmee does not equal a romantic attachment. I see no ick factor as of yet. In fact, I thought his attachment to a baby was sort of sweet. I’ll admit that maybe we could term it “edgy” but “perverted”? I don’t think so.

2. “The book dragged”: Yes, it dragged and was long. There were a lot of story lines going on. To think that at the beginning of the book Bella was human and unmarried and then look back from where we finished? Yes, readers traveled too long a distance.

3. “The ending was too ‘pat’”: She was going for a fairytale feel. It’s a romance, people. We needed our Happily Ever After. That said, I can’t believe there was no fight between the Volturi and the Cullens’ forces. Are you kidding me? She’s already received criticism about dodging action sequences. I’d just finished praising Eclipse for finally including a fight scene. And then what does she do? She drags me through 600 pages just to tell me that there would be no climax? Goodness!

And because she avoided the fight scene, I had no sense of loss afterward. Sometimes a sense of loss can go a long way in making a series feel complete and satisfying. Is that morbid? No, I don’t think so. There is a price the hero and heroine should pay for their happiness. Usually that price should be the cost of friends. The last Harry Potter did that well. I was glad to see that Ron, Hermione, and Harry survived, but we lost some important players and that gave the series weight.

BUT, even if you don’t want to kill off good guys, my gosh Stephenie, could we kill off a bad guy? Please?

4. “Renesmee is a ridiculous name”: Yep. It is. It did grow on me though. But Renesmee Carlie? Wow.

5. “Edward faded into the background”: I like to think of it as Bella coming to the foreground. She finally had a character arc. She changed. She was his equal. Isn’t that what people had wanted all along? Guess not. As it turns out, women really do seem to like the feeling of being rescued, being vulnerable, and having a hunky boyfriend be all protective of them.

 

Ok, now here are my own personal gripes. It’s actually a short list:

 

1. Bella’s super self-control seemed a bit convenient. I kinda wish she could have gone through the awfulness that should have been becoming a newborn.

2. Why’s she such a martyr?

3. Getting the papers for Renesmee to get on a plane seemed like a pretty minor worry. I can’t believe that’s what Alice wanted to hide from everybody. I thought J. Jenks would be way cooler.

4. I felt a little misled that Edward could get Bella pregnant. I thought vampires had no bodily fluids? Why do they have semen and not blood?

5. Adding “Jazz” as a nickname for Jasper like it’s always been his nickname. That’s probably my biggest gripe.

 

 

Finally, reasons why I’d like to give Stephenie Meyer a high five:

 

1. Bella pregnant!? Didn’t see that coming.

2. Bella a vampire? Ok, I guess other people didn’t see this as a question after Eclipse, but I sure did. I thought surely the message wouldn’t be to throw your life away and potentially your soul. Granted, I don’t think she ended up having to do that in the end, but still. I at least thought that the entire storyline would revolve around whether or not she became a vampire and if she did I figured it would be the climax of the book. As it happened, it was pretty early on.

 

3. Jacob finally stepping up, becoming an Alpha, and finding happiness. I was always on Team Jacob, so that made me happy.

 

4. No sex before marriage. I’m not saying this because this is necessarily what I believe. I’m not going to say either way on the blog, so don’t speculate. But, a lot of people have been on her case about the fact that she’s pushing her opinions through her book and that we shouldn’t make it “wrong” for girls to have premarital sex. Um, guys, if you can’t push your views in your own novel then where can you? It’s her story! Plus, there are already sooooo many YA books with rampant premarital sex. One postmarital sex book is not gonna kill us.

 

5. I enjoyed reading this book. Despite everything. I wanted to keep reading. I wanted to know what happened. And I had fun doing it.

 

 

So, what I’m trying to say is that I don’t think people should take themselves too seriously while reading this book. We can talk about the editing here. We can talk about how Stephenie may have been rushed trying to write Breaking Dawn and The Host simultaneously. We can discuss all that. I think the main factor is just whether or not you enjoyed reading it. For many fans, I think they truly did not.

A final word: I think trying to return books to the bookstore because the customer didn’t like the story is a bit ridiculous. And I’ve actually heard this practice defended because “books shouldn’t be any different from other products that you aren’t satisfied with.” I beg to differ. Returning a book that you’ve already read is like wearing clothes to a party and then taking them back to the store. It’s not ok. If you want to do that, wait to get the book at the library.

 

Good talk. See you out there.

Status: Gotta get ready for a wedding!

Friday Forecast: The Michael Phelps of Writing

Last week we predicted the future of Harry Potter and this week I thought we’d tackle more of the same.

The reason: Michael Phelps.

Last night there was an interview in which Spitz was asked who was the best swimmer/Olympian of all time.

It got a bit awkward when Phelps thought the question was for him and started to answer, but that’s beside the point.

So here’s my question: Who is the best author of all time?

It’s not like we can measure it in seconds or even pages, but I figure if we can judge gymnastics, ice skating, and diving and award gold, silver, bronze accordingly, we can take a stab at figuring out who the best author is, right?

And since we had to suffer through the uncomfortable responses of both Phelps and Spitz as to who the best swimmer was, I have another question: Which author thinks they are the best writer of all time?

Ok, I have a couple responses in my head, but hopefully you guys will have some interesting ones first. Predict away and Happy Olympics!

 

Status: Still getting moved in, but I’m not going to lie I’m getting sucked in by Eclipse! I’ll review it as soon as I’m done!

Friday Forecast: Hedge Your Bets

So, unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past couple weeks—or just don’t follow publishing news—J.K. Rowling is set to publish The Tales of the Beedle and the Bard for charity.

I am a huge Harry Potter fan, but I gotta tell ya, I’m not about to run out and buy this. Even if it is for charity. I’m just not that interested because it won’t follow Harry and Co.

But, it reminded me of an argument I had back when the final installement of HP was released. My
“opponent” insisted that Rowling would continue to write Harry Potter books either in the form of prequels or spinoffs. OR she would allow others to write under her name (a la James Patterson). My opponent claimed that the draw of money to be made would be far too tempting.

I disagree.

As it stands, Harry Potter will most likely go down as one of the most beloved children’s series of all time. Rowling already has a boatload of money and, while, of course, you can never be too rich or too thin, I think in this case, the notoriety and admiration that goes with the success of this series takes precedence over making more money.

I think she’ll choose to leave well enough alone and be smart enough not to tamper with the story. I don’t think she’ll let anyone else write under her name–at least not with anything that has to do with Harry Potter.

I think she’ll leave the series and her cast of characters with sadness, but will also welcome the change of scenery that comes with writing new characters and within a new world. And, frankly, I hope she keeps it that way. I love the 7 books and, as much as I’d love a Harry Potter fix, I really, really think she should leave it alone!

Nate, however, would love her to write prequels, spinoffs, etc. I can’t understand this. I mean, I think the Ender’s Shadow spinoff by Orson Scott Card has gone on a bit long. It’s not that it’s bad, it’s just that I’d rather a series leave me than me leave a series. Rowling would do well to learn a lesson there.

 

Ok, so what do y’all think? Will there be more Harry Potter in our future? Do you want there to be? Should Rowling let others write under her name?

 

And…last day for scavenger hunt is tomorrow. Win your advance copies of The Gargoyle!

 

Blog Scavenger Hunt 2k8

1. What is GypsyScarlett’s good luck writing charm?

2. Is Creative A a self-proclaimed perfectionist, or procrastinator?

3. Polenth is going to take over the world by becoming a farmer… what sort of farmer?

4. What is Jay’s highest reviewed movie?

5. Name the titles and publishers of Allie’s 3 novels.

6. Chandler never goes anywhere without __________________________.

 

For the rules, click here.

 

 

Status: In Dallas getting ready to move to my final destination–Austin! I’m going to meet my parents for drinks soon and then back home to watch the Opening ceremony.

In other news, SCOUT now has SIX REQUESTS!!! yay! Six for six. Hopefully that is a good omen, but yanno…will wait and see. Send your good vibes my way, please.

Topical Tuesday: Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda–The book I Wish I Wrote

As readers of this blog know, at the end of every interview I ask: “If you could have written one book that has already been published by someone else which book would it be?”

So for this week’s Topical Tuesday, Jay suggested we ask this of ourselves.

Immediately, I found myself pleading for what every interviewee asks, “Can I pick two? Please?”

But, I’m putting my foot down. I will not pick two. Here are the additional stipulations so that you can play along:

1. The choice may not be influenced by how much money you would have made had you written that book.

2. The choice can be a book within a series, but cannot be the entire series lumped into one.

At first I thought Harry Potter. And not because of the money, but because of the fun those books brought to people’s lives and the joy kids as well as adults found in reading them. Also, I really loved the world-building.

Then, I thought The Hobbit, because, well, it’s my favorite book. But…no dice.

If I could have written any book, I would choose…(drum roll, please)…

 

The Confessions of Nat Turner by William Styron

 

I know what you’re thinking. You’re probably like, “Say what? You write YA, your first thought was that you wanted to write Harry Potter and then maybe The Hobbit, and then you go and choose Styron!”

It’s ok. You can be disappointed in me because I went all pompous-Pulitzer-Prize-winning-literary on you…And that is sooooo not me. But wait! I have reasons why. I swear! I’m not just a snob!

Here’s why I wish I wrote Confessions of Nat Turner:

1. I’m super patriotic and this book is profoundly American. It covers a pivotal part of our history as a country even if it is the equivalent of casting a spotlight on our dirty drawers.

2. The writing took my breath away. Yes, I’m using a cliche, but I’m not using hyperbole.

3. Gray characters. Styron took a lot of flack for portraying many of the slaves in the story as not good people and many of the slave owners as halfway heroes. However, there were also slaves who were good people and slave owners who weren’t. That’s life. And much of his point is that the institution of slavery brought out the best in no one.

4. The entire book, I was upset by how Styron portrayed God. Big, fearsome and out for revenge. Then, FINALLY, on the very, very last page, the reader got to see something different. And Styron, through Nat, revealed a different angle. It was refreshing and, what is more interesting–this view was personified throughout the story by a white girl.  

5. Nat is a compelling narrator, though not always a sympathetic one.

 

I could go on, but really, you should just read it. I can only hope that one day Mr. Styron’s ghost will sprinkle some of his magic, writing fairy dust and then I can create a story equally beautiful.

 

Now, for the fun part! Which book would you have written? Reminder: Every comment you make will enter you in the drawing to win one of three hardback copies of Heather Terrell’s The Map Thief!

Can’t get enough Topical Tuesday? Check out Ideas and Execution in Book Packaging and Brand Yourself.

 

Status: Last night, I read half of The Boyfriend List by E. Lockhart. I’m loving it so far. It’s really cute and, for a first person narrative, is framed wonderfully. I talked a lot last night with SCOUT’s artist and I love the vision he has for Scout. She is modeled after an actress who I wouldn’t call A-list but who is perfect for the part. And I wouldn’t have thought of her in a million years!

The artist has been out-of-town but soon he will be sending me some more of his work. I’ve already seen sneak peeks! So, as you might guess…I’m writing SCOUT today! And the audition for the video game company.