I got tagged by Ari! And much celebrating was had.
1. What is the name of your book?
KILL THE LAST ONE
2. Where did the idea for your book come from?
I wanted to write something I’d never written before: a modern day science fiction story with teenagers, with the possibility for changing alliances and character reversals. That’s it. A million little ideas came from that; and together, they created the current conception of KILL THE LAST ONE. There was a LOT of time spent brainstorming. A lot.
3. In what genre would you classify your book?
Young adult science fiction.
4. If you had to pick actors to play your characters in a movie rendition, who would you choose?
To be honest, I’m not someone who does this often. I’ve seen a couple actors where it’s like, “That looks like so-and-so,” but more often I see people who fit my mental picture in awkward public situations. And then I stare at them for too long.
Please note that I’m not quite following the rules of this question, as these are not (necessarily) people I think should play the movie versions. They are people who I feel have an uncanny physical resemblance.
And yes – this means I fall into the trap of imagining my characters as unreasonably good-looking.
Rupert Grint reminds me of my main character Casey. I don’t know why. It doesn’t make much sense, because Casey has brown hair.
Tiya Sircair looks so much like Pembe that I did a double take when I first saw her. It’s not just because there’s a severe lack of diversity in Hollywood; I imagined Pembe as someone with a slightly round face and big, beautiful eyes.
And Blake Lively is pretty much how I imagine Rebecca. Obviously, I imagine her as blonde, but I also imagine her as tall with lots of sharp angles. I’m not sure that Blake Lively has the requisite muscles, since Rebecca is a basketball player/athlete…
…to be honest, when I’m thinking of this character, I’m actually imagining my old math tutor. (Sorry, old math tutor.)
For all of these actors, you’d have to use some sort of age-changing potion to turn them into teenagers.
5. Give us a one-sentence synopsis of your book.
For years, a monster has stalked eighteen-year old pothead Casey – a titan of a monster with dark fur and red eyes that no one can see or touch, including him; nonetheless, Casey is convinced that the monster is there, a belief that is validated when he starts receiving strange letters that invite him to a place called the Mock Universe – a place where, the letters warn, his monster has the potential to become devastatingly real.
I know, I cheated. That sentence never really ends, does it?
6. Is your book already published?
Nope. I’m still writing it.
7. How long did it take you to write your book?
Well. As I said, I’m still writing it. Here’s a run-down of the process:
- Started the brainstorming process in the summer of 2011.
- Spent the fall writing an outline (which I quickly scrapped when I started seriously writing the thing), and otherwise flirted with the story by writing a page or two here or there.
- Started seriously writing it on New Year’s Day 2012 (yes, it was a New Year’s Resolution – and a pretty successful one at that) by utilizing the heck out of 750words.com.
- Stopped adding new words in the summer, taking a couple breaks to focus on short stories and attempting to put together something coherent out of the words I’d already written.
- Now that I’m back at school, I don’t have the time to focus and make things pretty, so I’m back to vomiting up words on 750words.com. At this point, I have enough pages to make a book (maybe even two books?) except that a lot of those pages exist in versions of the story that no longer exist and/or are generally terrible.
I’ve stopped trying to make predictions about when I’ll be finished. I do know that my ‘first draft’ is significantly more polished than a first draft necessarily has to be, which hopefully means that I’ve saved myself some time on the editing process.
But maybe not. Writing a book is hard.
But there is progress. And I’m at the point where I can’t turn back now, because I’m totally committed to Finishing The Thing. Which is a good (and difficult) point to reach, methinks.
8. What other books within your genre would you compare it to? Or, readers of which books would enjoy yours?
The Maze Runner. Battle Royale, to the point where I’m a little worried. (Shockingly, however, it’s very different from The Hunger Games). Um, and…Animorphs? There’s also a resemblance to the Japanese manga Please Save My Earth.
In other words…
I do what I want.
9. Which authors inspired you to write this book?
Oh God, every writer I’ve ever loved? That list could go on forever. When I think about these things, I tend to think of Neil Gaiman first – but that’s probably ’cause he’s so popular and therefore on my mind.
10. Tell us anything that might pique our interest in your book.
Alien spiders! Past lives! Basketball! Saxophones as weapons! Brotherly friendship between actual brothers! And a corgi.
Ari might have a squirrel (and a parrot!) – but *I* have a corgi
So I’m supposed to pass this on to five people. But I can only think of four people. So too bad. ;p
Ladies, don’t wanna creep or nothing – but I wanna see your stories.
In other news, I haven’t been too consistent about this blog. To be honest, I wasn’t sure what I wanted the schedule to be. But now I’ve decided to update on Saturdays. It’ll only be one post a week, but I think that it’s more important for me to be consistent than to have a high post rate.
So. I’m gonna be consistent now. On Saturdays. For reals.
After the ghost of a wolf killed me, I decided to protect others from the same fate by scaring them away from the woods where the wolf lurks.
But now there’s a mysterious teenage boy who’s not so easy to scare.
It’s a huge contest with a lot of talented writers, so I figure my chances are akin to winning the lottery, but I had fun writing the story so what can you do. I’m proud of the finished product considering that I wrote in a month, which is fast for me.
Of course, there are things that I want to change – but the contest has been an exercise in restraint, because editing it at this point would render the entry ineligible. Once the contest is over, I’ll go back and pretty it up. It’ll be nice to have a sample of my writing online so that people can see what I’m about.
Is it officially fall yet? I’m back at school so it feels like it. This is going to be a busy semester but I’m looking forward to it. Hope you guys had a great summer!
WARNING: This post contains copious amounts of TV Tropes. Proceed at your own peril. You have been warned.
When I was a kid, I devoured books. This changed when I became an adult, privy to all the distractions of fancy technological distractions. Like blogs! So I’m proud of myself for recently reviving my love of reading, and I’ve realized that part of my problem was that I had a horrible methodology for finding new books. Because all that stuff about cups of tea?
Tea + cups with mustaches = my kind of thing
You see, there are books that aren’t my thing. Good books! Great books, even. I’ve been lucky; I haven’t read that many bad books, but what I have read a lot of are books that were Just Not For Me. For a while, I assumed that I would enjoy all bound collections of paper with printed words, and this worked about as well as one might expect. I’d pick up a book, read about halfway, become despondent, and fret that I was no longer a reader.
But. BUT. I am still a reader. A voracious reader. And there are books – lots of books – that I personally believe the universe wrote Just For Me.
The universe always has time for Annalise!
So how did I find books that were written just for me? Well, I’ve taken to reading blogs. Blogs about books. And I’ve discovered that sometimes, on the Internet, people recommend books that they enjoyed. And there are usually reasons for this, such as: the book is good. And if I trust the blogger, and I know that the blogger likes the kind of things that I like, then I will go out and get these books and devour them with tea.
So! Internet. Here are three books that I enjoyed recently. Maybe they’re your cup of tea, too. (And I would appreciate more book recommendations in the comments. Just sayin’.)
Down the Mysterly River by Bill Willingham
- Amazon summary: “Max “the Wolf” is a top notch Boy Scout, an expert at orienteering and a master of being prepared. So it is a little odd that he suddenly finds himself, with no recollection of his immediate past, lost in an unfamiliar wood. Even odder still, he encounters a badger named Banderbrock, a black bear named Walden, and McTavish the Monster (who might also be an old barn cat)—all of whom talk—and who are as clueless as Max.”
Bill Willingham is famous for writing Fables, an epic fairy tale comic that I’m sad to say I’m not too familiar with. Down the Mysterly River makes me wish I were familiar, because I’m kind of addicted to his writing.
For me, the charm of the book comes down to three main facets:
The characters. All four main characters are memorable. Especially McTavish the Monster, who I’ve written about. If you’ve forgotten, here’s what I said:
“If Salem just feigns at being evil and/or wicked, McTavish actively IS evil and/or wicked. He’s also, unlike most talking cats, actually a cat and not just some other thing masquerading as a cat, which means that his particular brand of evil cat logic is so catlike that anyone passingly familiar with cats will have to smile (or grimace) and nod. McTavish is also hilarious, largely due to the fact that he’s a bad guy forced to work with good guys, and there are just so many conversations where you can hear the crickets chirping after McTavish suggested a particularly sadistic/evil/wicked/cruel/callous solution to a problem.
McTavish is the fiction character you never knew you needed.”
The second charming thing? Clever references to children’s genres. Part of what makes the characters so charming – and what I think is ultimately the selling point of the book – is that each character is a reference to a particular type of children’s book, and character POVs are written in the style of the books they’re referencing. If you’ve read a lot of children’s books, then Down the Mysterly River should be a nostalgic experience for you.
And the third wonderful, charming thing?
The pictures. They’re drawn by Fables artist Mark Buckingham, and they’re gorgeous. Behold:
Plain Kate by Erin Bow
- Amazon summary: “Plain Kate lives in a world of superstitions and curses, where a song can heal a wound and a shadow can work deep magic. As the wood-carver’s daughter, Kate held a carving knife before a spoon, and her wooden charms are so fine that some even call her “witch-blade” — a dangerous nickname in a town where witches are hunted and burned in the square.”
Few books are as beautifully written as Plain Kate. Erin Bow is a poet and a novelist, and it shows. (Here are some excerpted poems, if you’re interested.) But I’ve read novels by poets before, and sometimes the story suffers. Not so here – in Plain Kate, Erin Bow has crafted a suspenseful, exciting tale. But the attraction of Plain Kate isn’t just that the sentences and plot are good. Plain Kate is essentially a story about grief, and it has a powerful emotional undercurrent.
The Maze Runner by James Dashner
- Amazon summary: “When Thomas wakes up in the lift, the only thing he can remember is his first name. His memory is blank. But he’s not alone. When the lift’s doors open, Thomas finds himself surrounded by kids who welcome him to the Glade—a large, open expanse surrounded by stone walls.” Annalise’s addendums: “And the Glade is part of a maze. Like, a big maze. A maze that you can run in! And there are gigantic monster-things that attack them, so they have to run fast.”
I used to be able to devour 400 page books in a single day on a regular basis. Nowadays, I have the attention span of a fruit fly that just found ALL THE FRUIT. Therefore, books that I finish in a single day are rare. But The Maze Runner? Yeah, I finished that shit in a single night, a feat previously reserved for Harry-Freaking Potter. The Maze Runner is what scholars commonly refer to as an OMGPAGE-TURNER.
If you’re a writer, I recommend reading this book to help learn about stakes, foreshadowing, cliffhangers, as well as ways to use information and clues to intrigue and entice the reader. If you’re a reader, then I just recommend reading this because do it already.
My only gripe is that for a book called The Maze Runner, there’s actually a minimal amount of running in mazes. At least by the main character.
Anyway, apparently Hollywood agrees with me about the gripping story bit, because a movie is in the works. And I’m pretty okay with that.
Are these books you might want to read? Or have you read any of these books – and if so, what did you think of them?
But most importantly -