5 Books that Should Be Movies

Hello gentle readers,

Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins, City of Bones by Cassandra Clare, The Host by Stephenie Meyer, Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl… What do these books have in common? They have all been turned into movies that will come out in 2013.

I have read them, and they are good books, which means I’ll probably go and see their movie version. However, if I had a choice in deciding which books should be turned into movies, I would have made another list. Here are 5 books I really wish were movies:

1 – The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin (YA Paranormal)

The unbecoming of Mara Dyer

I have given up hope that Mara Dyer and Noah Shaw are real. Can I at least see them in a movie?

2 – The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater (YA Fantasy)

the-raven-boys-book-coverThose boys. This girl. This school. This story. This magic. How on earth is this book not a movie yet?

3 – Infinite Days by Rebecca Maizel (YA Paranormal)

InfiniteDays

The only Vampire Book out there that should be a movie, and the only one that isn’t, for some reason.

4 – American Gods by Neil Gaiman (Fantasy)

american-gods

Neil Gaiman’s books become movies, slowly and surely. I just hope this one doesn’t get forgotten, because it’s my favourite by him.

5 – The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner (YA High Fantasy)

TheThief

The awesomeness that is this book would make for an amazing movie.

Which book do you wish were a movie?

100 Followers Giveaway! (closed)

*Giveaway is now closed*

Welcome gentle reader,

today my blog is 6 months old AND it has reached 100 followers, so I’m hosting a very special giveaway to thank YOU, my amazing followers. The giveaway is open INTERNATIONALLY and it runs from today, Saturday, September 1st to Sunday, September 16th 2012.

ONE lucky winner will receive the TWO following books: Infinite Days and Stolen Night by Rebecca Maizel. Both books are new paperbacks (UK edition).

If you have been following my blog for a while, you know that I LOVE Rebecca’s YA series The Vampire Queen. I was lucky enough to do an interview with her a few months ago (you can read it here) and when Stolen Night finally came out in the UK in July, she OFFERED to send me a copy for myself AND a copy for a giveaway. That’s how amazing she is.

So in case you’re not convinced yet, I’m offering you a chance to read her awesome books. Stolen Night won’t come out in the US until January 2013, so this giveaway is open internationally.

You can watch the trailer for Infinite Days below:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JXYJQgS2UHE

And you can visit Rebecca’s website here and her blog here.

Giveaway information:

  • The giveaway is open until Sunday, September 16th 2012 at midnight (BST time)
  • To enter please fill in the contact form below with your name and email. You HAVE TO be a blog follower to enter. Please state if you follow by email, WordPress or RSS feed.
  • If you’re a Twitter follower , if you like my page on Facebook or if you tweet about the giveawau, this will grant you an extra entry. Mention it below.
  • Entrants must be at least 13 years of age.
  • This giveaway is open Internationally.
  • The winner will be chosen randomly, notified by email and will have 72 hours to reply or a new winner will be chosen.
  • I am not responsible for items lost in the mail.
  • I hold the right to end the giveaway before its original deadline without any prior notice.
  • I hold the right to disqualify any entry as I see fit.
  • Privacy information: no information given for this giveaway will be used for other purpose than this giveaway. All information provided (names, emails and mail addresses) will be deleted after the giveaway.

Good luck and feel free to leave me a comment below…

Stacking The Shelves

Stacking The Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga @ Tyngasreviews. The idea is to showcase the books that we’ve recently won/bought. I have never felt the need to participate in such a meme, since until recently I had never won a book, and I shared the books I bought in my Book of the Week feature. But this month I have actually won/received books so I thought I’d share the news with you!

Won:

Wilde’s Army (Darkness Falls #2) by Krystal Wade via her website.

Look! It’s signed!

Received as a gift from the author:

Stolen Night (The Vampire Queen #2) by Rebecca Maizel.

Look! It’s signed too!

Bought while in the US

Something Strange and Deadly by Susan Dennard

Once (Eve #2) by Anna Carey

Underworld (Abandon #2) by Meg Cabot

Girl of Nightmares (Anna #2) by Kendare Blake

What did YOU add to your shelves this week?

ROW80 Check-In 4: Rebecca Maizel’s Top Ten Tips for Budding Writers

Welcome gentle reader,

For this fourth ROW80 Check-In, I want to share with you a post first published by Rosanna MKB Digital on the My Kinda Book website on July 17, 2012. It gives YA bestselling author Rebecca Maizel’s top 10 tips for writers and I find it highly inspirational. Feel free to check out the original post here and to visit Rebecca’s blog here.

 

“10. Read aloud. What sounds good in your head has a different rhythm when read aloud. Dialogue especially. Read aloud before you give your manuscript to your trusted readers.

9. When you are revising your manuscript, pick out the metaphors, similes, and personification. Make sure they are original and that they add to the theme of your story.

8. If you want to write, you must read. Read! Read! Read! Read stories that you don’t think will interest you. Be surprised. Be inspired by other people’s genius.

7. Don’t give your work to your friends unless these friends are writers or he or she loves to read. They love you so they will lie to you. Give your work to friends who want to see you write incredible stories and will give you the hard critique so your work improves.

6. Read what’s in the market. “I don’t read” is a phrase I hear a lot from young people. How can you write a story if you don’t study story?

5. Do a read of your manuscript and circle the amount of times you wrote, “I felt.” Then revise as many of those sentences as you can without that phrase. Show the feeling, don’t tell the feeling. We want to experience it with the character.

4. Avoid laundry lists of description. Example: Rebecca Maizel wore black pants, a black shirt, and black heels. Her hair was styled up and it was dark brown. BOOOOOOOOORING.

3. Please give your villains motivation! A villain who is evil for no reason isn’t believable. Even Darth Vader had a good side. Everyone, even those who challenge us are three-dimensional. It’s even scarier if you can bring them to life in fiction.

2. Every main character must have a want – a desire. If you can’t answer this statement: My character wants _________, then you don’t have a story. If nothing is at stake, your readers will stop reading.

1. Write what you love. Because you have to. Because without this story you won’t be living a fulfilled life.”

Now for my ROW80 goals:

1-     Write everyday: 5/7 days. This week AGAIN I wrote every day except for Tuesday and Wednesday. Getting to 7/7 is hard.

2-      Self-edit The Last Queen: done. A little bit.

3-      Continue writing the first draft of The Cursed King: not done this week.

Also, this week on my blog, you could:

–     read the first and last lines of my current WIP. Comments are welcome!

–     read an exclusive interview with YA author Lisa M. Stasse about her writing process.

Here is the Linky for the other check-in posts. How are you other ROW80 writers doing?

Waiting On Wednesday – 8 + Bout of Books Read-a-thon Day 2

“Waiting On Wednesday” is a weekly event, hosted by book blogger Breaking The Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.

Today I have chosen Stolen Night (Vampire Queen #2) by Rebecca Maizel (expected publication: June 21st 2012 by St. Martin’s Griffin). It is the second installment in the Vampire Queen series and Infinite Days being one of my favorite books, I can’t wait for Stolen Night.

From Goodreads:

“Lenah Beaudonte should be dead. But having sacrificed herself to save another, she finds herself awakening with strange powers that are neither vampire nor human – and a new enemy on her trail. In her vampire life, Lenah had thought that being human was all she ever wanted; but the human heart suffers pain, heartbreak and loss. With her new powers growing and the dark force of the Nex after her soul, Lenah faces a choice: between the mortal love of gorgeous Justin, whose passion fed her human soul, and taking a different path to become the mistress of her own destiny, wherever that may lead …”

I interviewed Rebecca Maizel a couple of weeks ago, feel free to check out the interview here.

On another note…

Bout of Books Read-a-thon – Day 2

Bout of Books is a week long read-a-thon, which has started on Monday, May 14th and will run until Sunday, May 20th.

Find out more here: http://boutofbooks.blogspot.co.uk/

Follow the fun on Twitter here: @boutofbooks

I have posted my goals here: https://emcastellan.com/2012/05/12/bout-of-books-4-0-read-a-thon-goals/

My update:

Book I’m reading now: The Pledge byKimberly Derting

Number of pages I’ve read so far: 386/386 of Vixen by Jillian Larkin
Total number of books I’ve read: 1

How have you been doing? What have you been reading?

A Round of Words in 80 Days – Check-in #4

Let’s review: last week I missed my weekly check-in as I was away from home without an Internet connection. This week I’m back but I’ve had to change my goals, as what I had decided on four weeks ago is no longer attainable, given my personal circumstances (day job and other non-writing obligations).

So let’s have a look at my goals:

1-        Write the first draft of my new dystopian novel with at least 750 words per day: not anymore. I just don’t have the time. So I will probably write this first draft from time to time, but I cannot pretend I can write it every day, with a set number of words.

2-        Self-edit/revise The Last Queen so that I finally have a final draft for it: this is what I have to focus on. I need to be done with that by the end of June and so far this final draft is not ready yet. So it’s Revision, Revision, Revision for me. My manuscript needs to be 20K shorter, so I have to start making serious cuts in it. Samurai like.

That’s it for me. How are you other ROW80 writers doing?

Here is the Linky for the other check-in posts.

This week on my blog you can find:

an interview with YA writer Rebecca Maizel on writing, reading and her books.

a post on YA best-selling author Lauren DeStefano with her advice on writing a book and getting it published.

inspiring pictures!

Happy writing!

 

A Writer in the Spotlight – Rebecca Maizel

This week again I was lucky enough to have a YA author give me an exclusive interview! The idea behind the “Writer in the Spotlight” feature is that published (and bestselling) authors are the best source of advice for us, would-be-published writers. Today’s interview is with the wonderful Rebecca Maizel, one of my favorite YA authors.

A writer in the spotlight – 6

Author : Rebecca Maizel

Genre : Young Adult, Science Fiction & Fantasy

Location:  Rhode Island, USA

Website : http://rebeccamaizel.com/

Blog: http://rebeccamaizel.blogspot.co.uk/

Twitter: http://twitter.com/rebeccajoym and http://twitter.com/VampQueenNovels

Books : The Vampire Queen series: Infinite Days (2010) and Stolen Nights (released July 2012)

Bio: Rebecca Maizel graduated from Boston University and the Rhode Island College master’s program. She teaches community college in Rhode Island and is studying to receive her MFA from Vermont College.

My interview (29/04/2012):

On Writing:

Did you always know you wanted to be a writer?

I’ve been writing since I was a little girl. When I was a kid most people were playing with Barbies, I was using my sister’s video camera to make movies starring my Barbies. I guess I was thinking in a narrative format even when I was really little! Also, I loved dance. I was in recitals and danced competitively until I was an older teenager. There was a connection for me between a choreographed dance and a choreographed scene. I haven’t gotten to the bottom of this yet  – but I will!

When and where do you write?

It really depends on the day. I write in my office at home, mostly. But these days if I’ve seen too much of my office, I’ll work at a coffee shop. In Rhode Island, I love a place called Java Madness which is fun because it’s right on top of the water. Mornings are best for me creatively but revisions I can do at night.

Do you ever experience writer’s block?

I try to listen to music, which is similar in tone to what I am writing. I go for long walks, I put the project down for a few days. Sometimes what helps is writing a letter from one character to another character within the story, writing from their point of view. For instance, in Infinite Days, I might write a letter to Lenah from Justin or vice versa. I usually do this with a character or situation I am having trouble pushing through.

What do you say to people who want to be writers? How difficult is it to get published?

You have to love the craft. Don’t write just to be published. Write because your characters deserve your time and effort. Write because this story is coming to you from the depths of your gut. Publishing will come in its due time. Hone your craft, perfect your sentences. Make it sing.

Is it better to outline and plot your novel or “go with the flow”?

Well, I think it really depends on your story. I always find it best to outline. There’s that dreaded ACT II of your book that somehow always needs the most work. I find it helpful to outline as best as I can. I usually veer off from it but if the major act points are there, I know the direction of my scenes. You can still “go with the flow” even if you have a direction.

Do you set goals for yourself as you write?

Outside of my editors’ deadlines? No. I write as scenes come to me. I get my best work done when I’m driving listening to music. Then I rush home, and get them down on paper. Sometimes this takes hours and I have a rush of scenes. I make sure that I write a 4-5 hours every day and make some progress. Sometimes progress means reading because I need inspiration.

On “The Vampire Queen” novels:

To write this specific series, where did you get your inspiration from? Were you aware of the coming vampire trend in YA literature when you wrote it?

I started to free write one day. I literally sat down, started writing and Lenah’s voice came through, I let her tell the story and 8 months later, I had a draft of Infinite Days. I wish this story were more exciting. I should say something like, I fell down, cracked my head and when I was in the hospital, I had A VISION! A near death experience! But no, I was in a dark library free writing.

After I had written the novel, I started to read everything in the genre so I could see what else was being published. Someone recommended the Twilight series to me and I thought (after reading it) “wow, this is huge. I wonder if there is room in this genre for me?”

Lenah Beaudonte: How did you come up with this (awesome) character?

I connected to her voice. It was so strong; and sinister and tragic. I wanted to tap into that sorrow and darkness. I wanted to bring this person, whoever she was back out to light. It turned out that she was a vampire and thematically, it worked. Every person out there has done something they aren’t proud of. And whatever that thing is, they have to live with it – forever. That’s Lenah but times about a million! I just started writing one day and there she was with a motive, a purpose, and some really scary enemies.

What type of music do you listen to when you write this series?

I listen to music when I write but it has to be music without lyrics. Most of the time its operatic or choral music like a soundtrack from a movie or ambient. I know a lot of writers use music to illuminate the mood or atmosphere of a scene, I know I do. Listening to music as I write helps me imagine a scene more clearly in my head. It’s strange to think of fiction in “scenes,” like you would a movie but I think it’s easier that way.

Some tracks:

1. None Can Die – Tristan and Isolde Soundtrack

2. Little Women Soundtrack

3. Tall Ships – Bill Leslie

What are you working on now? Is it a “Vampire Queen” novel?

I have started Book 3. I am working on other books as well but they are very top secret.

When is “Stolen Night” finally coming out?

July 5th in the UK! Soon thereafter in the US.

Reading advice:

Which authors inspire you now?

AM Jenkins, Franny Billingsley, Coe Booth, An Na, and many many others. I’m inspired by beautiful language and hot fictional boyfriends. 🙂

Which YA books would recommend?

Last great books I read:
Gina Damico – Croak
AM Jenkins – Beating Heart
Laini Taylor – Daughter of Smoke and Bone
Coe Booth – Bronxwood

Liked this interview? Check out my interview with Rachel Caine (author of the Morganville Vampires series) here and my interview with Beth Fantaskey (author of Jessica’s Guide to Dating on the Dark Side) here.