Bad YA Fiction

The other day, I was browsing my WordPress feed and I happened across this blog post: http://racheliliffe.wordpress.com/2014/02/08/throne-of-glass-hardcore-mary-sue-part-i/.  As a writer, bad reviews are something to be avoided at all costs.  But as a reader?

I love them.  I love reading bad reviews.

Note: “Bad Reviews” does not mean that the review was poorly written.  “Bad Reviews” means the reviewer absolutely hated the book and does not even attempt to sugarcoat it.

So, when I stumbled upon this review of Throne of Glass (which I’d never heard of but if this review is any indication, that’s probably a good thing), I read the entire thing and laughed all the way through.  Then, I decided to be an ultra-creeper and I read her review of the book on GoodReads.  There, I learned that she actively seeks out bad YA books in order to review them.  Oh my gosh.  She’s a genius.

Reading her review (which was just as humorous thought not quite as long as the blog posts), I got to thinking about bad YA fiction.  I’ve read a few such books in my day, the latest of which, I fortunately got for free on Amazon.  It looked so good, too!  It was about mermaids!  But I hated, like absolutely loathed the female protagonist.  She was actually the worst.

My initial reaction to bad books has usually been to chuck them across the room and write a scathing review as to why no one should read such garbage and why whomever agreed to publish it should be punched in the face, but then I usually decide that I don’t want to waste any more time or energy on something that I hated so much.  That’s what happened when I attempted to read 50 Shades of Grey.  I was going to write an analytical essay on what worked and what didn’t, but I only made it to chapter 9 before I actually did toss it across the room.  God, those first 9 chapters were awful.  I actually hated myself for a while.

Sorry to those of you who enjoyed the book.  Feel free to insult a book that I like in the comments section.  Harry Potter and The Hunger Games would hurt the most, but I also really love Meg Cabot, Nicholas Sparks, and Shakespeare.

Anyway, after reading these reviews, instead of viewing bad YA romance novels as the enemy, I started thinking, “You know… I bet they are actually really fun to write…”

That expanded to, “So, if I were going to write a bad YA book, what would it need?”

Here’s what I came up with.

1. A Flawed to Perfection Female Protagonist  

In my reading experience, it is the female protagonist (at least in the YA romance genre) that makes or breaks a novel.  She is the most important character, as the story is more often than not told from her perspective, first or third person.  The bad YA female protagonist must be several things in order to make sure the reader just totally and completely hates her guts.

For one thing, she must be beautiful, but in a unique and special snowflake way.  More than likely, she herself will not think she is beautiful and spend a greater portion of the narrative complaining about how plain and unattractive she is, despite the fact that every single male character in the series loses his mind lusting after her.  She might have a really rare eye or hair color.  You know, Bella’s eyes weren’t just brown… they were warm and chocolatey and totally unique brown.  Right.

For another thing, she must be intelligent, but incredibly shy and awkward about it, like being smart is something to be ashamed of.   Chances are she loves reading boring literature that no one actually enjoys reading.  In fact, she might be the only one in her high school/kingdom/coven who enjoys reading at all, because you know, only special female protagonists enjoy a good book.  Everyone else in the story is just stupid.  She also has incredibly amazing and mind-blowing powers that she probably doesn’t know about until someone points it out to her and tells her just how awesomely special and unique she is.  She also probably has a name that no one would ever actually name their kid, like Raelynna or Sapling.

In spite of all of these qualities that anyone else would consider a blessing, our bad YA female protagonist is a whiner and usually totally unappreciative of the people in her life who are not her love interest.  She complains about them constantly in her head.  Maybe they’re just too mundane or too superficial for her and her deep and angsty profoundness.  Whatever the reason, she feels so alone and isolated because no one understands her … expect the hot and broody love interest.  Who is really hot.

2.  A Hot and Broody Love Interest

Even though this guy is really hot, he is somehow a misfit and doesn’t fit in and he probably spends a lot of time thinking deep thoughts about how much life sucks, even though it probably doesn’t suck at all for him.  He’s never known what true happiness is like… until our female protagonist comes along.  They might get off to a rocky start and might even spend a few chapters simultaneously hating each other and wondering why they can’t get the other out of their minds and maybe it means something deep like it’s somehow destiny and they’re meant to be together forever.

Both the love interest and the female protagonist probably come with some friends or family members.  These side characters are often the only likable characters in the story, but of course, the book can’t be about them, because they’re not dark and broody and come on, people might actually understand them, and who wants to read a book like that?

Physically, this guy is hot.  I mean the epitome of male perfection.  He has a perfect body, deep, dark and brooding eyes, because you know, he’s deep, dark, and brooding.  Those eyes can see straight through to the inner depths of our female protagonist’s special sparkling soul.

3.  An Equally Hot Secondary Love Interest Who Just Isn’t as Good as the First

This poor guy.  Despite being really hot and totally just head over heals in love with our plain and boring as a stick female protagonist, he’s just not that special connection to her inner being that the love interest is.  Yeah, he’s a good guy and he makes her laugh and actually talks to her and cares about her as a person, but come on, who wants that when you can have someone who will sit around and brood with you about how much life sucks for people as unique and special as you?  Despite actually being a good guy, the female protagonist will probably spend most of her interactions with this guy thinking about what a great guy he really is, but pitying him because he’s Just Not The One.  This, in turn, makes him sounds really pathetic in the narrative and readers start seeing this guy as a wounded creature as opposed to a guy who would probably make a much better boyfriend than the first guy, but whatever.  Our female protagonist will probably end up snogging him at one point anyway though, because that wouldn’t be fair to her to have to commit to only one hot guy.  She is only human, after all.  Well, maybe.  If we’re talking fantasy or paranormal, which we more than likely are, she’s probably some super special half-human half-mystical being and the only one in the world as powerful and dangerous and beautiful and what not.

4.  A Colorful Cast of Supporting Characters who Actually a Lot More Likable Than the Protagonists

Seriously, these characters are awesome.  They have lives, they have hobbies, they have friends, but they’re all so ordinary and mundane and not-angsty, why would anyone want to read about them when they could read about how torn our female protagonist is over which hot guy she loves more?  (Hint: It’s the hot, broody guy).

These side characters also happen to think our female protagonist is just the bees knees, like seriously, the coolest person they have ever had the honor and privilege to meet.  Except for all the girls who are just totally jealous of her and who are mean to her, but they’re the bad guys, so there.

5.  An Antagonist Who Really Isn’t That Big a Deal

Minor things like villains and plots only serve to take away from the true meaning of the book… and that is the most important thing in our female protagonist’s life is deciding which hot love interest she loves more.  I mean, yeah, there has to be some sort of bad guy, but of course, he or she is no match for our perfect female protagonist who can use her ancient special snowflake powers to be the one person in the world who actually stands a chance at conquering this deep and oppressing evil which still isn’t quite as important as making out with the hot and broody love interest, but you know, what is?

I think one day, when I have a little bit of spare time, I might try to write a book like this.  If I do it right, it will be the worst book ever and it will break the record for one star reviews on GoodReads and Amazon.  I think that sounds like a pretty worthy goal, totally deserving of my time and effort.

However, I still prefer nice reviews for Cemetery Tours, but only if you feel they are truly deserved.

Have a great day, all!

Seance

I connected with English author Tinsley Collins over GoodReads.  He saw that I had written a ghost story and wondered if I might be interested in doing a review exchange.  I gladly accepted, being a big reader (and obviously, a huge paranormal fan).  Also, when you’re in the independent author business, you never turn down a chance for a good review!  Even if it isn’t a positive review, as long as it’s well thought out and constructive, it’s a good review.  

Mr. Collins wrote me a very good and positive review for Cemetery Tours, and I was very happy to reciprocate.  His book, Seance, is awesome.  I enjoyed it so much that I will be buying a copy for my own collection (I have a section in my personal library for authors that I know/fellow indie authors) on Friday as soon as I get my next paycheck.  The main story takes place in a little London-based bookshop.  Although I have never been to London, I am very much in love with the idea of the city, so it was easy for me to imagine and enjoy not only the story, but the scene and the characters as well.  I imagined Theo as sort of a Tom Hiddleston, and honestly, who doesn’t love Tom Hiddleston?  The story kept me guessing and engaged right up until the very shocking end.  I think I actually gasped out loud.  

I’ve never considered myself a very good “reviewer,” just because I ramble and I don’t think I’m very good at formal writing.  I’m much more of a conversationalist writer.  But, for what it’s worth, here is the review that I posted on Amazon and intend to post on GoodReads when it goes up.  

      “At first glance, Seance was right up my alley: a young man working in a London based old and rare book store meets a shy young woman asking if he had any books on ghosts, spiritualism, or seances. London, ghosts, and romance? I’m already sold.
      But it turns out that Seance, the second novel by author Tinsley Collins, is so much more than your typical paranormal romance. Yes, it tells the story of the skeptical and offbeat Theo, who, despite his quiet charm, has never fully found his place in the world or with people, and his strange connection with the equally awkward and timid Lucy, an avid believer in the paranormal. But it also follows the journal of Mary Bulstrode and her life as a new bride in the late 1800s.
      These two lonely souls, set a century apart, connect in a beautiful and poignant way that will leave readers breathless, haunted, and eagerly absorbing ever riveting detail, from first encounter to heart-stopping last goodbye. Seance has it all, ladies and gentleman; true love, deep mystery, eccentric and profound characters, ruthless murder, and lost souls, desperately seeking comfort, peace, and simply, someone to hold.” 

It has a pretty neat cover also.  Check it out.

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I think the coolest thing about it is that Mr. Collins’ daughter designed it!  Isn’t it awesome?  

If you’d like to order Seance, you can find it here:  

http://www.amazon.com/Séance-Tinsley-Collins/dp/1910105058/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1392070062&sr=8-1&keywords=seance+tinsley+collins

or here: 

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Séance-Tinsley-Collins/dp/1910105058/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1392070857&sr=8-1&keywords=seance+tinsley+collins

or here:

http://thebookshop.co/the-seance/

Happy Monday, everyone!  We’re expecting snow… again.  

Sunday Updates

Despite the gray and the fog and the general sense of Yuck in the air, it’s actually been a fairly productive weekend.  I finished reading Seance by Tinsley Collins.  It was awesome!  I’ll post my formal review of it tomorrow, along with pictures and links.  I definitely plan on buying a copy for myself once I get paid on Friday.  I’m also (finally) almost done reading my friends’ book.  I realized the reason it’s taken me a little longer to read it is because I’ve been going through and editing, making side notes, and honestly, reading is just so much more when you don’t do that.  

Also on the book front, Cemetery Tours got another great review…  Image

 … bringing the total review count on Amazon up to 25!!

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I also got a new shipment of books in. 

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As usual, Midnight thought they were for her.

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But they’re not.  Neither are the last three books in the Percy Jackson series.  

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I wanted to buy the third one on Friday, but I went to Target and they didn’t have it!  It was like the third Harry Potter book all over again!  So, I went to Barnes and Noble and decided to just buy the rest of them while I saw them.  There’s nothing worse than being in the middle of a series and not being able to finish!  

Finally, one last picture before I sign off for the night… I was at church this morning and guess what they’re selling?

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Neat!  

Talk to you all tomorrow.  Sleep tight and stay warm! 

 

Let Your Country Out

As many of you know, I recently started listening to the music of a brand new country star named Jessie Lee Cates.  Now, my dad, my sister, and I are all huge country music fans (my mom’s a Yankee, so she tolerates it).  We listen to it all the time, especially when it’s cold out and we’re dreaming of summer days full of blue skies, road trips, and wildflowers.  We love Sugarland, Roger Creager, Lady Antebellum, Clay Walker, Carrie Underwood, Darius Rucker, Eli Young Band, Josh Abbott Band, Toby Keith, and let me tell you, Jessie Lee Cates is right up there with the best of the best.  

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Her voice is pure and clear, her music classic and catchy with a delightful country beat.  Of course, I’m still quite partial to Scotland, as it is one of my absolute favorite places in the world and my own ancestors’ homeland, but the rest of Jessie Lee’s debut album is just as fun, delightful, and frankly, good, old fashioned, high quality country music.       

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I’ve had the distinct privilege of connecting with Miss Cates over Twitter and Facebook, and she is just about as sweet and classy as it gets.  She read the first blog post I wrote about her music, https://jackiesmith114.wordpress.com/2014/01/15/best-song-ever/, and contacted me to say that she wanted to make me her fan of the month!  

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I also received a copy of her CD, a super cute T-Shirt that will look GREAT with jeans and my cowboy boots, and an autographed photo which I can’t wait to hang in my office alongside my autographed Switchfoot poster.  

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I’ve been following the news on her website, JessieLeeCates.com, Jessie Lee is a current bestseller in contemporary country on Amazon, her single Scotland (my favorite) is #4 on the charts in Europe, and there is a Scotland music video in the works!  I can’t wait to see it!  Scotland is just such a special place to me (as I think I’ve mentioned several times) and I think the video will be awesome.  

I’m always so thrilled to find new music to listen to, and I especially love being able to connect with a new artist whose work I genuinely respect and enjoy and whom I can hopefully help out (not that she really needs my help… she’s definitely doing just fine on her own!) by spreading the word about their craft, be it music, books, art, or script.  If you like country music and/or strong female vocalists, I hope you stop by Jessie Lee’s website.  Her music is definitely worth a listen!  

Next up on A Platform of Sorts: A Review of Seance by Tinsley Collins and How Target Ruined my Life by Not Having the Third Percy Jackson book in stock.   

 

Snow and Sequels

Well, I’m snowed in.

Of course, in Texas, “snowed in” means “there’s half an inch of snow on the ground but the last time I tried to venture out in these conditions, I ended up driving my car into a pole.”  Okay, so most of us probably don’t drive our cars into a pole (though I actually did), but I’ve already read half a dozen news reports and Facebook statuses from friends who have had very, very close encounters in this weather, so I really just don’t want to chance it.

I thought about taking a walk down to the park (which I actually walk around quite a lot when the weather is, you know, pleasant) and taking pictures of the snow, but after I discovered that I can feel the cold radiating through the windows, I remembered how much I really hate being cold and decided to spend the day with my blanket and kitty and of course, all you lovely people instead.  Why anyone willingly ventures to places with snow for vacation is beyond me.  Ski trip?  Only if by “ski” you mean “water skiing.” You know, where it’s WARM.  And there’s sand and palm trees.

I guess I should be grateful.  I have friends in other parts of the country who have it a lot, a LOT worse.  To all of you, I will say a prayer and I will continue to be thankful that I am not where you are.  There’s this joke amongst Texans that every time we have extreme weather, we have to tell everyone about it, even though those of us who live here are already quite aware of those conditions.  The funny thing about that joke is it’s absolutely true.  We genuinely believe that everyone needs to know just how cold it is here, even though we are definitely not the coldest spot in the country.  And of course, we all freak out every time there’s even a little bit of ice on the ground.

True story.

Oh NO!  I just stepped outside to check the mail.  IT’S SNOWING AGAIN.  THE FLAKES ARE HUGE.

And of course, I couldn’t resist.  I stepped outside to take a few pictures.  I’ll probably post them later because right now, my fingers are too numb to edit.  There is something beautiful and peaceful about watching snow fall.  It’s like being inside a water globe.  That still doesn’t mean I like it or anything.

Okay.  Part of me does like snow.  I just don’t like the cold or the now being able to go anywhere part.

Moving on to stuff that is actually relevant to this writing blog…

I’ve officially been with WordPress for one year!  They sent me a little anniversary note and everything!

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How sweet!  I’ll admit it, I’m actually really proud of myself for keeping up with this blog for that long.  This is, I think, the third blog that I’ve had and it’s the only one to which I’ve really committed.  Well, I was pretty good with my photography blog too, but then I used up all my space and yeah.  That was that.

Cemetery Tours also got another great review, this time on Amazon.co.uk.

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I’ve also finished chapter 24 of the sequel.  Chapter 25 is going to be FUN.  I can’t wait to get started.  Cemetery Tours is 28 chapters long, and I can’t be sure, but I’m thinking the sequel will be a few chapters longer.  I’m great with that.  I just hope people like it.  I was thinking about it last night, and I suddenly realized that I’m a little scared to publish it.  Cemetery Tours has gotten so many kind words and now for some reason, I’m afraid people are going to read the sequel and think, “Oh man, this sucks.  It’s not nearly as good as the first one.”  Hopefully, my editors will be able to tell me if something isn’t working.  I like the book.  I hope readers like it too.

Well, I’m off to go finish one of the books that I’m reading/editing/reviewing and then it’s write, write, write!  If you’re thinking about becoming an author, be forewarned: you never get days off.  Even when you’re snowed in, you always have something you can be doing.  Your brain never takes a break.  It’s not a bad thing, because I genuinely enjoy every moment of what I do.  I’m just saying, it’s hard to turn that “writer” part of your brain off.  In fact, I’m not sure it’s even possible.  It might just be the way we’re programmed.

Stay warm, everybody!  I’m currently in two layers of clothes AND a blanket.  I wish I had hot chocolate.

The Monday Report: Take Two

Monday, we meet again.  So far, you’ve actually been pretty okay to me.  I hope you don’t make me regret saying that.

Before I really begin this post, I do want to take a moment to honor the late, great Philip Seymour Hoffman.  As I’m sure most of you know by now, he passed away yesterday from an apparent drug overdose.  That just kills me.  My sister and I always said that he was one of the good ones.  I mean really good.  He could take any part, no matter how small, and turn it into a brilliant performance, impossible to forget.  I remember finding out that he would be playing Plutarch Heavensbee in Catching Fire.  I was thrilled, not only because I love the character, but because every role automatically became ten times better whenever he was cast.  I try to make you all think I’m nice and happy here on this blog, but in reality, I can be a pretty harsh critic.  I’m a fangirl and I become addicted to certain franchises easily, but I can also be very difficult to impress.  Philip Seymour Hoffman always impressed me.  Always.  And I’m absolutely devastated that such a bright, brilliant, and promising life has been cut so tragically short.  Rest in Peace, Philip, May Light Perpetual Shine Upon You, and May the Odds be Ever in Your Favor.

In other news, I hear the Seahawks won the Super Bowl.  I’m not much of a football fan (much to my small-town, big-time college football jock Dad’s dismay).  Besides, I was too busy fretting over the current Ron-Hermione-Harry situation to really care what was happening on television.

Actually, that’s kind of a lie.  I wasn’t fretting.  My sister and I were laughing and making a lot of mean joke’s at poor Ron’s expense. I know to some fans, it’s not funny at all that JK announced that she regretted pairing Ron and Hermione up, but that poor guy!  Even his own author thinks he’s a loser!  That’s just so sad, you really don’t have a choice but to laugh about it!  To quote my sister, “Least loved by the mother who craved a daughter. Least loved by the girl who prefers your friend. Least loved NOW BY JK ROWLING.”

Poor Ron.  He really did get the short end of the stick in pretty much EVERY situation.  I do agree with JK though that Hermione could have done a lot better.  But a part of me does like them together, especially in the eighth movie when Ron runs after Malfoy and his lackeys and screams, “THAT’S MY GIRLFRIEND, YOU NUMPTIES!”  So romantic.  And basically the only point in the entire series that I like in the movie better than in the book.

Speaking of movies vs. books, I’ve finally begun reading the Percy Jackson series.  I’ve only read the first two, but so far, I’m really enjoying them.  I’m a huge Greek Mythology nerd.  In fact, I’ve always said if I wasn’t a Christian, I’d be an Ancient Greek Mythologist because it’s just so cool. Anyway, the books are great.  The movies?  Well, there are parts of them that I like.  For example, I loved Tyson in the second one.  He was just off-the-charts adorable.  I also loved how they designed the hippocampus. I’m not sure I want a hippocampus quite as much as I want a dragon, but it’s definitely close!

Unfortunately overall, both movies were a bit of a disappointment, especially the second one.  One of my favorite things about the book was how often it paralleled The Odyssey.  Not the case in the movie.  They took out almost all references, including but not limited to Grover making and then unmaking his wedding train, Nobody, and the Sirens.

HELLO.  HOW COULD YOU LEAVE OUT THE SIRENS?!  They were one of the coolest parts of the entire book!  You’re killin’ me, Hollywood!

Luckily for the show, it did have one redeeming quality (besides Tyson and the hippocampus): Nathan Fillion as Hermes.  Granted, he was only in one scene, but his performance, as expected, was a show-stealer.  They even threw in a Firefly joke, and even though I don’t watch Firefly, I cracked up.

After seeing Mr. Fillion as Hermes (and recalling his hysterical role as Captain Hammer in Dr. Horrible’s Sing Along Blog), I realized something.  He would make a perfect Luke Rainer (one of the main characters from Cemetery Tours for those who haven’t read it yet).  I know that I’ve said that Jensen Ackles was my ideal Luke Rainer, and physically, he still is.  But Nathan Fillion, although a little older than I intended Luke to be, has it all.  That cheeky, smarmy, almost-douchebag yet somehow still lovable character that he plays so well is Luke.  Plus, he’s totally handsome enough to be Luke Rainer: Spectral Sex Symbol, The Ghost Prince of Primetime.

The weirdest part is that my sister was texting me earlier and I told her about watching Percy Jackson and she goes, “You know… Nathan Fillion kind of reminds me of an older Luke Rainer.”  I was FLOORED. I was like, “DUDE.  I just thought the same thing LAST NIGHT.  I’m going to write a blog about it later!” So ensued the typical sisterly “OMG”-fest when the two of you share a similar thought even though you hadn’t mentioned it to the other. Of course, if you prefer Jensen Ackles, then feel free to still imagine him as Luke.  He is still incredibly handsome.  Or you can picture Nathan.  Or you can create your own casting.  Don’t go by what I say.

One of my favorite things I learned in my writing classes in college (make that one of the ONLY things I learned) was that when you write a book, you’re actually writing three books. You write the physical copy, you write the book the way you see it, and you write the book that others see.  My interpretation of every book I’ve ever read is different than the way you imagine it, and I love that.  It’s so fascinating that we can all experience the same thing in a way that is completely and totally unique. This post is actually turning out to be much longer than usual.  I’ll try to wrap it up here. Cemetery Tours got another great review from someone who stopped by and liked my blog, so thank you, not only for reading, but for your kind words!  They are so greatly appreciated. Image Man, everyone loves Brink!  I’m really glad I added him more into the sequel. I hope everyone has a pleasant Monday.  It’s cold and gray here, so I will be spending the rest of the day writing and trying to stay warm. Cheerio!

I Forgot To Add A Title Again

I just received the most wonderful email from an author with whom I connected over GoodReads.  We did a manuscript exchange, honest review for honest review, and while I have not yet finished reading his (though I am enjoying it very much!), he just sent me this message.

Have just finished dinner, a bottle of red wine, and your book  simultaneously and the overall feeling is of well being and satisfaction. Well done on stilts for a well plotted thoroughly enjoyable book! .You have an ear for dialogue,  but more than that in innate understanding of how a plot should work so that what appears from time to time  to be the occasional  side step into something self indulgent and irrelevant  becomes of significant importance as we hit denouement .

 I was so afraid when I received it that I would have to grit my teeth and plough through pages of turgid prose and have a problem finding something good to say about it, but not at all. Once I got in to it I found myself picking it up whenever I had a spare moment to follow it through. This is more of a compliment when I can say that it is not a book that i would have specifically chosen had I  been given a description of it and I suspect that it will resonate even better with the Twilight generation.   

 I will construct a review over the next  few days and send it to you first  for approval, but don’t worry, it will be very positive.

 You will find Séance a very different animal indeed  and I hope you will cope with the more gritty approach to life and language you will find there. Having said that, there are  some similarities between the two books, i.e. their both  turning on tragic love affairs.

Well done again.

 Tinsley  

I am so incredibly touched and humbled by his words and I can only hope to make my fellow authors feel as honored and appreciated when I read their works.  Thank you, Tinsley!

You can find Tinsley and his books here: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6560036.Tinsley_Collins

Is It Summer Yet?

Today was my favorite kind of winter day; the kind where I can run around town in shorts and a T-shirt.  

Real winter with snow and icicles and gray skies is great for about a month, and fall is great for about three months before that, but unless it is September 1 – December 26, I do not like the cold.  When asked that age old question, “Would you rather be hot or cold?” my answer is always “Hot.”  I’ve heard the “But you can always add layers” argument a million times, but the thing is, I can tolerate the heat.  I mean, yeah, I’ve been overheated to the point of dehydration before and it’s no fun at all, but I hate being cold so much more than anything that heat’s managed to do to me so far.  It’s probably because I grew up in Texas where a “chilly” day is like, 75 degrees.  

Last night, I was working on a sequel and I got write a scene I particularly enjoyed and actually longed to experience myself.  I’m not going to tell you about it since, you know, it’s a secret, but I can tell you it involved kayaking and I love kayaking and I wish it was summer so I could be outside all the time and hiking and kayaking and swimming.  That would also work a lot better if I wasn’t an adult with grown up responsibilities.  Oh well.  Hopefully someday, I’ll find a way around that.  

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In other news, the #Plague is still running rampant throughout my sister’s old high school.  Needless to say, I did not end up attending their show.  I hate it because I’ve been looking forward to seeing it for so long, but I just can’t risk it.  It’s all over the local news here how 676 students and dozens of staff members are sick with it.  Yeah, that is a big NO THANK YOU.  

Also, Cemetery Tours ended up selling TEN copies in the last few days!  Oh my goodness!  That might not be a lot for a mainstream author, but for an indie, it is HUGE and I thank you all so much!  It’s also up to twenty-two exceedingly positive reviews on Amazon, so I really can’t thank all of you enough.  85 people have either added it or marked it as “Too-Read” on GoodReads, so I’m hoping that in the next month, we can raise that number up to 100.  In the meantime, I will be working furiously on finishing the sequel and getting it out there.  I hope you all enjoy it as much as the first one!  

Thank you all again and have a great weekend.  

And stay healthy.