Friday, November 30, 2012

Breakouts in 2012

My post today is more of a question. Were there any breakout authors who published their first books in 2012?

It's a question that was asked on another website and they couldn't think of any, and neither could I, except maybe one, which was Gillian Flynn's book Gone Girl, but it's not her first book, but I think it's definitely a breakout book, but it's an adult thriller.

Anything in romance? Molly did awesome with her book release, and Cecilia Grant got some great buzz with her release, A Lady Awakened, but nothing else comes to mind.

As for YA, I can't think of a release in the past year that has gripped the market in the same way that Hunger Games, or Divergent, or Beautiful Creatures has.

The only breakout books that come to mind are erotica, who at this point hasn't heard of the 50 shades books, or the other books that followed, all packaged similarly, all erotica.

But that's it. Is 2012 the year of the erotic book breakout? I must be missing something. What breakout authors did I miss?

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Books for a Cause

So, I've been thinking lately about book related charity drives. I'm all for helping out good causes but when charity events involve artists or entertainers (including authors) they typically also have the ulterior motive of promotion.

And I guess there's nothing wrong with that, but there's an invisible line somewhere and I'm just not sure where it is.

Cases in point...

Several times a year there are auctions for charities where authors and others involved in publishing give away books or critiques or other book or publishing related prizes to raise money. Fans and aspiring authors bid on the prizes. Those auctions are great, I think. Do they maybe increase the visibility of the people donating prizes? Perhaps. But the "publicity" involved seems minor to me compared to the money raised for the cause. And other than a tiny bit of publicity, the authors don't get anything in return. I have no qualms about being involved in one of those auctions.

On the other hand, mega-best-selling non-fiction author Tim Ferriss is running this thing right now where he's donating part of this royalties to charity if people help him sell/promote his new book. I'm not sure exactly how it all works, but what feels wrong about it isn't the donation part, it's the fact that he's claiming his books have been banned in order to entice people to participate/help him sell books which, yes, will peripherally mean that he donates more money to charity.

The reason this one has a squick factor for me isn't that he's giving away part of his royalties. No... it's that banned is a loaded word when it comes to books. And based on how that word is normally used in the book world, his books have not been "banned".

However, it is true that his publisher and therefore his book, have been boycotted by virtually every bookseller in North America...  And, um, Ferriss and I have the same publisher so I know how much that sucks... but I'd never try to convince people that my books have been banned. I think boycotted is a less-loaded word that describes the situation better. (And if you want to buy my book, I suggest you order it from an online retailer because the chances of finding it in a physical bookstore are slim to nil. See boycott.)

I also heard of another charity drive, recently, involving an author that also had a squick feeling for me, but I think that author's heart was in the right place... so I don't think I'll describe it here in detail.

And now I've been asked to be part of a charity program too. During the month of December, participating authors (including me) are partnering with Amazon Children's Publishing to give e-books to Worldreader. For every one of our books sold, an e-book will be donated to Worldreader. I won't be paid royalties for the donated books, but on the other hand, if the promotion surrounding the charity drive means I sell more books in December, I will get my normal royalties on the books sold...

That scheme feels okay to me. Yes, I'm getting some promotion for being involved, (at least I hope I will), but the books are being freely given to the charity by both me and my publisher. Am I rationalizing? Do I have a double standard?

FYI Here's some info on Worldreader.

Do you have clear lines when it comes to charitable giving? I'm clearly feeling ethically challenged these days.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Have you read DEVIANTS yet?

If the answer is no, go out and do yourself a favor and get it. Now. You will thank me.

Maureen has crafted an excellent book. There's just nothing she didn't do well in this book. The characters are wonderful and three-dimensional and conflicted. The dialogue is great. The world-building is simply freaking amazing. I have no idea how to come up with a world so complete and to present it on the page without ever resorting to boring exposition. We experience it all through Glory's eyes (and ear and nose and mouth and all those great senses). It's completely alive to me.

And the pacing! Holey Moley Guacamole! It's relentless. You will not be able to put it down. I couldn't.

The reviewers all agree with me. Four stars from RT, was it, Maureen? Mazel tov, my sweet. You earned it. Great job. Great book.

Who else has read it? Care to chime in with your opinion?

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy American Thanksgiving

I was going go to blog about some of my frustrations with the publishing industry and what I see as a new disturbing trend in author expectations.
Then I remembered Thursday will be the American Thanksgiving and instead of griping I should be thankful for everything I have.

So petty jealousies and irritations aside here is my 2012 list:
1.      Family – it’s a given I know, but this year I’m especially thankful for them.

2.      My Cats – that’s right. I said it. My cats. Yes I’m a single woman who has cats and I like them. And they are friendly and cute and very comforting. So stick it to the stereotype.

3.      Writing Friends – If I didn’t get to talk about writing with other writers and the highs and lows and frustrations that come with it, I would probably lose my mind.

4.      Good Advice – I’ve gotten a lot of it lately. See writing friends above.

5.      Good Books – the kind that make me remember why I wanted to tell stories in the first place.

6.      Rediscovering 1995 Dean Cain – Yum.

7.      Stretchy Pants - that have allowed me to remain clothed even while my middle is expanding at some new warp speed.

8.      Cool Ranch Doritos -  as a comfort food. See stretchy pants above.

9.      HBO shows that feature hot naked men. See single cat lady above – I need my eye candy.

10.   The desire to write  - even when everything else is falling apart and I wondered if I could still write a book  - turns out I can. Thanks Mark and JoJo for pulling me through.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Writing Opening Lines

It's so hard to craft good opening lines. (Most of the time.) Sometimes they just come out of the ether. Those lines are miracles. But most of the time the ether fails us and the lines take some work to get right.

I can obsess about an opening line for weeks or months, so it meant a lot to me when I had a compliment paid to me this week on the Adventures in YA & Children's Publishing Blog about my opening for Deviants. That, and a discussion Molly, Sinead and I had on the weekend got me thinking about openings and opening lines again....

The aforementioned blog has some great thoughts about openings and here are some of mine:

A good opening line should be intriguing or catchy in some way.

It should raise questions that make the reader want to keep reading.

It should be easy to read--that is, tricky phrasing the reader shouldn't have to stumble over. ;-)

Along that same line... it should be well written without being overwritten. In unpublished contests, I find opening lines often fit into one of two groups: dull or overwritten. You don't need to, (and shouldn't try to), fit six metaphors and every big word you know into the opening paragraph. Another overwriting problem can come out of trying so hard to describe a complicated visual image that the reader has to stop and think about it so for so long it stops making sense.

A good opening should set the mood and/or tone for the novel. That is:  a funny book should have a funny opening, a scary book should have a scary opening etc.

There are other opening line "rules" one hears like, don't start with setting, don't start with a character waking up, don't start with a dream, don't start in a car... But like anything with writing you can break those rules if you do it well and/or do the other things mentioned above. (I started Deviants with setting...)

Great opening lines stick in your head. They're memorable. They make you want to keep reading.

Here's one of my favorite lines from the past year.

"This was not how Tara Jean Sweet imagined her engagement. Perched on the edge of her eighty-nine-year-old fiance's wheelchair wearing a skirt so short there was a good chance the photographer was getting a shot of her uterus.  -- Can't Buy Me Love, by Molly O'Keefe

Share your favorite(s) in the comments! :)

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

CAGE MATCH: Cloud Atlas Part II

Here are a few other things that I like about the Cloud Atlas movie as opposed to the book:

• In the far future, everyone wears ponchos!!!! This is totally awesome. I love ponchos. What's more, I love crocheting ponchos. In the credits of the movie they listed a knitter and a knitter/crocheter. It never occurred to me that I could quit my job and crochet ponchos for the movies as a living. I'm now SERIOUSLY considering it.

• Several of the stories made more sense to me in the movie than they did in the book. Most notably the one about the young composer between the wars. The ending of that story made no sense to me in the book. It made more sense in the movie.

• Sonmi's story was much more moving as it was portrayed in film. Her mode of speech was very flat and had little affect. In the book, there was nothing to contrast with that flatness. In the movie, the dichotomy between the flatness of her speech and the emotions on her face as we saw her story unfold made me really connect with her in a way that I hadn't in the book.

• The way the movie moved more fluidly between the stories allowed me to see the echoes between the stories more clearly.

I'm sure there are more things. I'll post them as I remember them.

So, Molly, was there anything in the book as awesome as everyone in the future wearing ponchos? I don't think so!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Cage Match: Cloud Atlas The Movie

One of my favorite books of the last few years was Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell. Another one was David Mitchell's The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet, which I actually liked better, but that's a different cage match.

So when it was announced that they would make a movie of Cloud Atlas, the friend that so feverishly pressed Cloud Atlas into my hands and I made a date to go see it. I understood why Hollywood would want to get it's hands on this book - each story is steeped in an exciting visual world; A reluctant voyager crossing the Pacific in 1850; a disinherited composer blagging a precarious livelihood in between-the-wars Belgium; a high-minded journalist in Governor Reagan’s California; a vanity publisher fleeing his gangland creditors; a genetically modified “dinery server” on death-row; and Zachry, a young Pacific Islander witnessing the nightfall of science and civilization.

Who wouldn't want to take a crack at those worlds, the fact that each story has it's own climax that manages to encompass the very best of some kind of genre be it murder mystery, espionage, dark comedy prison break, futuristic sci-fi - makes it even more visually appealing. This book manages to incorporate every single genre in huge muscular and bold storytelling, while at the same time being deft and delicate. There are hints at reincarnation and all the stories are linked by the written or recorded history of the story before it.

It's not as mind-boggling as it seems. It's very cool and beautifully written.

So, I loved the book. I LOATHED the movie.

Eileen read the book and LIKED the movie. So, we're taking it to the cage match.

Here are the things I liked about the movie:

1. Tom Hanks. Honestly, it's hard not to like him. Particularly since he seemed like he was having so much fun.
2. The reincarnation bit was made more clear by the fact that many characters surface and play different parts in all the stories. Makes an appealing case for the idea that there are people we are bound to, no matter what.
3.The visual storytelling of some of these worlds was really satisfying. The sci-fi shoot outs and the 1970's espionage - all very cool.
4. Hugo Weaving is a great bad guy in any time or place...
5. The vanity publisher fleeing his gangland creditors was BRILLIANT!! It was filmed exactly as it was written and hats off to Hollywood for leaving it alone.

Things I hated:

1. The reincarnation bit got super heavy-handed with a set of star-crossed lovers that really didn't hold up for me. I think if I hadn't read the book, it might have really worked, but having read the book, it stretched things too far.

2. The stories take place in lots of different times and places - one of the big ones is future Korea and with all of the characters playing parts in all the stories they made a choice to make every one look Korean. And then they took the one Korean actress who played many roles and tried to make her look Caucasian in another story. It wasn't just distracting - it was ridiculous and offensive. It seemed like blackface to me, it was so bad. Be bold enough to let the actors just be the actors instead of giving them terrible makeup. This really really bothered me because it just tore me totally out of the story.

3. In standard Hollywood fashion they had to tie up a lot of the loose ends that the book leaves enticingly loose. They had to give Tom Hanks and Halle Berry an ASININE happy ending with them as grandparents. Tom Hanks even urges a kid to "Help old Grampy Up." So so so so so hamhanded. There was also another bookending on another story with the sailor in 1850 coming home to his wife (the Korean actress with terrible makeup) and then defying his father in law regarding a plantation contract. Both of those things were so jarring in their simplicity - it felt like some studio head popped their head in and said "make it happy folks!"

So - I say read the book. Skip the movie. Eileen?

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Getting Back in the Saddle and Loving It

I haven't been doing a lot of writing lately. I had a switch in my day job and it's been taking a lot of time and attention. Add sending my youngest off to college and some health crises for my mother and, well, I haven't been able to get much done. I went through revisions and copy edits, but I didn't give it the attention I usually do. I'm down to page proofs now and, for some reason, I'm into it. I seriously don't have the time to dive this deep into this book, but I am loving it.

I'm not sure if my depression slowed down my work or not doing the work made me depressed, but I'm convinced they are inextricably linked. I'm pretty sure that feeling better and writing again are just as linked.

It's been painful, but I think I learned an important lesson. I thought I could give up writing. I was considering it pretty seriously. I don't think I can do it. I think it's too linked to who I am and who I want to be.

So here's to discovering my joy again and reconnecting to the person that I think I'm supposed to be. Is there something you have to do to feel like yourself? Something you can't live without?

Monday, November 12, 2012

I am Skipping School!!!

I'm taking the day off! And I mean really taking it off. Friday I hit send on the current manuscript. I'm not thinking about new ideas until next Sunday so I have a whole week of getting my life back together and enjoying some downtime. Today I am going to the movies. Cloud Atlas! That's right - the three hour+ adaptation of one of the best books I read last year. Can't wait.

And then I'm going to do some reading - non-genre. Susanna Kearsley, one of my favorites has a new book coming out. It's glowing in my ereader right now.

I need to catch up on Homeland, Breaking Bad and if I can find the first season I'm watching Vampire Diaries.

I might go through a closet or two - that's pretty low on the list though.

And yoga - lots and lots of yoga, because my body is not a wonderland.

That's my week - if you need me - I am absolutely NOT AROUND!!!

Friday, November 09, 2012

Homeland - A master class in writing

Ok, so I'm seriously fangirling Homeland this season. For so many reasons. The acting, Claire Danes and Damien Lewis are incredible. Danes can telegraph so many diverse emotions without saying a word, and they are so clear and heartbreaking a lot of the time.

It has Mandy Patinkin, which is always a great thing and he's marvellous as well, and it has, and I'm going out on a limb here, the best writing on television right now.


Conflict - external - a CIA agent who is convinced based on very, very small cues that a returning war hero is a terrorist. No one believes her.

The war hero is a terrorist, but his reasons are compelling.

Internal conflict - she's falling in love with the war hero/ terrorist
she's the only person he can relax around so he's falling in love as well.

Internal conflict - she's bi-polar and heavily medicated to keep her disease in check, but is brilliant. When her illness is discovered and her investigation is discredited, she relapses and no longer trusts herself or her decisions.

Every scene has so much tension and conflict, even the little ones where the war hero is at home, trying to rediscover his place amongst his family, while lying to them about almost everything. Anywhere they can they create more tension, while making us care for everyone, even the bad guy.

It's a master class in crafting tension and conflict and creating sympathetic characters who do really bad things and while we're always rooting for Carrie, we're sometimes rooting for Brody. And, as the last two episodes have proven, they're not afraid to blow up their fictional world and change the rules of the game.

It's truly amazing. Anyone else watching it?

Thursday, November 08, 2012

Profit and Loss...

I got entangled in a discussion on Dear Author regarding the impact of the .99 cent book on the industry. A lot of back and forth and pro’s and con’s. But what really blew me away was a comment by Courtney Milan. For those who aren’t familiar with her – she’s an amazing historical romance author who decided to self-publish her work.

In my opinion Ms. Milan is an example of how to self-publish the right way. She’s not just throwing content out there – she’s actually “publishing” her work. She uses a content editor and a copyeditor. She’s a very savvy marketer. In every sense she is a “publisher.” Her products are very polished.

To this end she actually indicated in her comment that prior to deciding to take on a project – she does a profit and loss analysis.

These are common in publishing where an editor will work up a projected sales model to determine if it’s worth the publishing company’s money to buy the book. But Ms. Milan does this before she makes the determination to write the book.

Now as someone who has written a number of off-the-beaten-track-of-publishing books I was fascinated by this. Had I been more practical, stayed more within the mainstream I might have had more success. Even today the book that’s being shopped is just a little… different. So we’ll see what happens.

But to me it always came down to the idea. Once the idea hit I had to write that book. It’s the book I want to write and I don’t care that it’s different I’m doing it anyway. Stubborn? Or stupid?

So I asked Ms. Milan the question – if you determine the book might result in a loss does that mean you just don’t write it? The idea was unthinkable to me.

Ms. Milan answered my question… as did some other authors who also responded… Of course that’s what it means. But then she further explained that when considering “profit” it’s not always just about the money.

Wow did a light bulb go on when I read that! I’m struggling right now with the “business” of writing. And thinking about profits or lack there of as it relates to labor. Normally when I think about profit I’m thinking about money. I mean who doesn’t. But in this business I have to realize there are other benefits beyond money. That maybe it’s okay to write a book I know I’m not going to make much money on – just to get some other benefit that may impact my career long term. Like a good review from a notable blogger or a nomination. (See Molly - I was listening to you!)

At least that’s what I need to tell myself when that royalty statement comes in the mail and there is no check associated with it.

Wednesday, November 07, 2012


The past few weeks I've felt like I've been caught up in a tornado. And that doesn't even include the tail end of Sandy.

The best part of the whirlwind has been the support of my friends and family and meeting fabulous people who love books!

Last week, I was on a panel at the World Fantasy Convention.

My panel was called "Romancing the Monster" (or beast?) and the panelists were:

Nancy Kilpatrick, Sephera Giron, Chris Szego, Patricia Briggs and me! It was a great discussion about the appeal of monsters in romance, horror, urban fantasy and YA and I was super excited an honored to be sitting next to Patricia Briggs. Even more excited when she complimented me after, as did her husband, Mike, whom I had a great conversation with over a cup of hot chocolate when we couldn't squeeze into the too-small room where they held the opening ceremonies right after the panel. (With bagpipes!)

I wish I could have attended more of the convention, but I double (triple?) booked myself last weekend and on Saturday I went to the Ontario Blog Squad's 2nd Annual Meet up.

What a fabulous event! Book bloggers from all over Ontario gathered at a pub on the waterfront. Publishers gave them tons-o-books and I was thrilled to be one of the seven authors they had as guests.

Here's a photo of my lovely table mates for lunch:  @GwenythLove of Rants N Scribbles and her sister Alina @AjKitKat It was an absolute pleasure talking to these two women and fellow YA fiction lovers. They're planning on doing a sister-vs-sister double review for DEVIANTS once they read it. I'm equal parts nervous and excited.

I loved talking to everyone, but really had fun meeting the lovely Tiff Ing @mostlyyalit who did a great wrap up of the event here. (And took a really good photo of me that she posted on her blog, I'll have to ask her if I can snag it... the candid one.) Tiff heard about DEVIANTS from Diana Peterfreund's blog interview and the lovely things Diana said about my book, and we bonded over our mutual admiration of Diana.

Here are a few more photos of the event:

And as if all that weren't exciting enough... the YA Apocalypse Tour launched last night! (Plus, I turned in my line edits for COMPLIANCE at about 4:30 am on Monday, I mean Tuesday.)

Here is the fab poster they did at the store;
So thrilling. I'm wishing now that I'd asked if I could have it... 

And here we all are after the talk: 

From left to right:  Megan Crewe, Cheryl Rainfield, Lesley Livingston (standing) Leah Bobet, Lesley's uber-fan Sydney (who was there with her 2 sisters and her mom and her little sister's sloth, whom I got to snuggle) and me. :)

And finally... DEVIANTS on actual book shelves, in an actual store... Thanks so much to Indigo Yorkdale for hosting the event and to Megan and her publicist for making it happen!!! So much fun.

The tour continues here:

Saturday Nov 10, 2pm – Chapters Belleville, Quinte Mall – Megan Crewe, Lesley Livingston, Maureen McGowan, Cheryl Rainfield, Courtney Summers. RSVP on Facebook!

Saturday Nov 17, 2pm – Chapters Brampton, 52 Quarry Edge Drive – Leah Bobet, Megan Crewe, Lesley Livingston, Maureen McGowan, Cheryl Rainfield. RSVP on Facebook!

Saturday Nov 24, 2pm – Chapters Barrie, 76 Barrie View Drive – Leah Bobet, Megan Crewe, Lesley Livingston, Maureen McGowan, Cheryl Rainfield. RSVP on Facebook!

Monday, November 05, 2012

Naughty and Nice Anthology OUT NOW!!

Hey gang - I have a little early Christmas cheer. My Christmas Anthology Naughty and Nice, is out today. My story All I Want For Christmas Is You, is a prequel to my January 29th release of Crazy Thing Called Love.

There are a lot of fun things about this book:

1. Not only do you get my prequel but you get holiday stories from the incredibly talented Ruthie Knox and Stefanie Sloan!

2. It's a 1.99 - honestly, check it out for yourself.

3. We're also running a really fun 12 Days of Christmas Promotion over at the USA TODAY blog

So, a little Christmas cheer to get you through Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Writers Talking About Writing: Maureen McGowan and Deviants

We've talked to a lot of writers here at DWT - about process and craft and some of the details about the books they're working on or promoting. So, we thought we'd turn the attention to Maureen and some of the thought-provoking writerly things she's learned on the DEVIANTS journey.

Find out more about the book or order it here

1. One of the things I was really impressed with about Deviants are the action sequences. What's your approach to action sequences, to keeping them fresh and clear?

Thank you! With action scenes, I usually have a picture in my head of what’s going to happen before I start writing. Not always every detail, but I like to plan the bones and know what must happen during the scene to move the story forward. Once I’ve got the overall shape of the scene planned, I try to write it as fast as I can—without worrying about mistakes or wording.

Sometimes magic comes out. Sometimes it doesn’t. So, for me, the key to good action scenes is rewriting them. Taking out every unnecessary word and, more importantly, taking out every unnecessary action... For example, instead of, “She balled her fist, swung her arm and hit him,” it’s better to write, “She hit him,” or even better, she punched him, or she slugged him. The reader fills in the blanks in a well-written action scene, and makes it into a movie in his or her head—which might not be the exact same movie as another reader’s, but that doesn’t matter as long as the outcome is the same. Better than boring the reader with detail or having them skim.

Usually my first drafts have too much detail, particularly in sections where the action is complicated and I was having trouble choreographing the movement. So, I often need to trim and trim and trim until I get it right. And sometimes it’s the opposite. Sometimes it’s so spare I can barely understand what I wrote in the first draft and I have to add words or intermediary movements to make it clear where everyone is and what went on. But my general rule is that simple is best.

You often hear that action scenes should be written using short sentences. And I think that’s right to some degree. But I think the rhythm matters more. A series of short choppy sentences can actually stall the flow of an action scene. A long, well-written sentence can simulate movement and speed.

Sometimes it’s less about short sentences and more about having a sentence go on and on until the action builds to a climax and then—pow—adding a short sentence for impact. Simple sentence structures are best, especially if you make them long, because they require less punctuation to be clear. Punctuation can slow reading down too. (Unless it’s necessary for clarity...)

I also think that action scenes should have a minimum amount of internalization, physical reaction, and description. They need *some* of those things, though, or they’ll seem detached. But it’s important not to add those elements in huge chunks. If you do, it will dramatically slow things down. Also, if you’re writing in deep POV or in first person present like I did in DEVIANTS, you can’t add things the character wouldn’t have time to think.

2. Glory your main character has a huge arc over three books. Looking at the books, how much planning went into that arc, how much of it was a happy accident?

Oh, that’s an unfair question because I think you know the answer and how confused I get about this at times. LOL.

I could lie, but in all honesty, it was a bit of both. The second book in the trilogy COMPLIANCE (May, 2013) comes closest to the original story idea I was contemplating before I started to develop DEVIANTS. (Which was actually an idea for an adult urban fantasy.) So plot-wise I wanted DEVIANTS to get Glory to the right place to tell that story in COMPLIANCE.

I also knew right from the start that something devastating was going to happen in the first book that would be difficult to get over. (No spoilers!) So, I knew that I’d probably need all three books in the trilogy to cover her dealing with the emotional turmoil of that, and to let her heal.

But... some parts were happy accidents too. I wrote DEVIANTS under the gun. I had just left my first agent when I was starting it, and knew that I’d need something strong to attract the caliber of agent I wanted going forward, so I just wrote the crap out of DEVIANTS (as Sinead would say) without really worrying too much about how the rest of the series would go.

When I contacted my now agent for the first time, I told him I had a trilogy planned out, but, well, it was only very loosely planned.

After he signed me, he wanted to get DEVIANTS out on submission within a week, so I barely had any time to clean up the manuscript—never mind plan and write synopses for the second two books. But it’s amazing what can happen under pressure. And of course, the stories have changed from those quickly drafted synopses that went out on submission. But at least those synopses showed editors that I had a full story arc thought out for the trilogy—even if there was some crazy repetition of similar plot points along the way.

3. Do each of the books have a different 'feel' in your head? How would you describe the three books compared to each other?

Hmmm... I think the main character arc that spans all 3 books is moving from distrust to trust. In others and yourself. She has steps forward and back along that continuum throughout the trilogy.

But back to your question. (I was stalling...)

DEVIANTS is essentially an escape story. A quest. A story of discovery in many ways.

The second book, COMPLIANCE, is more of a spy story, full of deceptions and double crosses. It’s also more psychological as Glory is dealing with her loneliness, loss and guilt. COMPLIANCE has a claustrophobic setting, and I like that the setting is almost a metaphor for how much she’s in her head in that book.

The third book... um... I still haven’t finished it, but it’s tentatively called GLORY. It’s about deciding what’s important, what you’re willing to do for others, and whether the ends justify the means. It’s also a story about recovery and redemption and a story of heroism and bravery. But not typical—lead the charge into war—kind of heroism. I hope it’s about heroism demonstrated in an unexpected way.

I think if one could argue that Katnis in The Hunger Games Trilogy ends up being like Joan of Arc, then Glory in The Dust Chronicles trilogy is more like Madame Currie—sacrificing a piece of herself for the greater good, rather than leading everyone into battle. I find it somewhat implausible when teen characters lead adults—not that they aren’t capable; it’s more that I don’t think many adults would be willing to be led by teens—so I wanted to find a way for Glory to make a key difference, to be the hero in a pro-active way, without her leading the charge.

Note to self: Madame Currie? Really? Nothing more sexy and exciting than that! ;) Not sure why she popped into mind, except that science and experiments are involved.

Second note to self: Clarify your thoughts on book three—STAT. What a jumbled mess that description was!

4. If you could have a Deviance what would it be?

Good one! I definitely wouldn’t want Glory’s Deviance that’s for sure. It would be horrible to know that you couldn’t make eye contact when you were emotional, without hurting the other person. When you’re emotional is often when you most want to make contact!

There’s a character in COMPLIANCE who can make himself invisible. I think that might be kind of cool. But I think what I’d really like is to be able to fly. A boy in COMPLIANCE has wings, but he hasn’t had an opportunity yet to spread them.
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