Saturday, September 29, 2012

Team Free Will

((SPOILERS AHEAD for Psych and Supernatural, and the crossover fanfiction "The Voice of Shawn" by Somilge

I've been thinking about this a lot lately in regards to my book, The Lucky One, which is still in editing and revising stages (and probably will continue to be until I can find the time to actually work on it again). Exactly how much of what we do is our own choice? I mean, Lucky was destined to be the first seraphim hybrid in existence, the only one with the luck hex, the only one with a preordained death date. He's one of a kind-- but is that because his already rare-blooded mother decided to fall in love with a demon, her sworn enemy? Did she know what she was getting into, that her son would be the one to fulfill a prophecy spoken long before she was even born?

And what about Lucky? He could decide to let the world hang and refuse to participate in the war, in which the Apocalypse, the height of the Great War, comes to pass. He could hunker down and hide, never to be seen again, regardless of his distinctive heritage and attraction of trouble. But he doesn't. He does the right thing... but what, in any case, is the right thing to do? And how do we know?

There are a couple of reasons this train of thought has been drilled into my head as of late. One, I just read Helen Boswell's Mythology (as seen in my previous post, a review of her amazing book). I like Hope, the protagonist, who adamantly stands by her non-belief in Fate. Even though it couldn't possibly be coincidental that someone like her could run into angels and demons after years of not coming into contact with them in the span of a week. At the same time, Micah displays extraordinary free will when he insists on loving Hope, rebuking the demon side of him and giving Fate the finger. So even though in this book, there is a ton of evidence that points to Hope's entire life being mapped out on parchment, there are also tons of instances in which Hope makes her own decisions.

I also just read an amazing crossover fanfiction (yes, I am a fanfiction author/reader in my downtime-- I am not ashamed) between Psych and Supernatural. It was mostly focused on the Supernatural side of things, set during the Apocalypse wherein Lucifer walks freely (sort of) and angels need Dean to say yes to becoming Michael's vessel so they could defeat Lucifer (whose vessel is, ironically, Dean's brother Sam). So yeah, where Shawn comes in (the MC of Psych, who is an immature man-child with an eidetic memory who solves mysteries while pretending to be psychic) the Voice of God Metatron needs a vessel and he needs Shawn to do it.

Shawn has a huge dilemma. If he says yes to being Metatron's vessel, Metatron could use him to find God (who mysteriously disappeared for the last two millenia), which may ultimately stop the Apocalypse from coming to pass while simultaneously dealing with the war between angels and demons and the sudden civil war between angels and angels all at once. That's the plus side. The downside is that once Metatron's done using his body as a meat suit, Shawn will be left as a brain-dead walking, drooling zombie-- that is to say, he'll be a vegetable, which is a suckish way to live (no offense to the incapacitated out there in the world).

If he says no, he'll get to keep his body and super sharp mind... but he'll have a target on his head for both angels and demons. And Shawn's only human. A brilliant human, but still. He'll only survive for so long, and he'll never be safe as long as he lives.

In the end, Shawn said no to Metatron.

This is kind of mind-boggling to me. Safety over freedom, right? Or maybe not. Maybe the reason that ultimately drives us to decide for ourselves is that people would rather be free than be a prisoner, even for a good cause. Selfish, maybe. But maybe that's what makes us human.

It's important for me to be thinking about these things if I'm going to be putting them into The Lucky One. Lucky's got a choice, too-- save the world, or save himself. Unlike Shawn, Lucky doesn't choose himself. But maybe the conditions are different. In the Supernatural world, angels are assholes. But to Lucky, they're just people. And people make mistakes.

What do you think? What would you choose? And do you believe in freedom or destiny? Or both?

Sunday, September 23, 2012


Hola, peoples! So I just finished my good friend Helen Boswell's MYTHOLOGY and it was soooo so so good. I suggest you buy it. It's on Amazon. Just click the little linky thing at the top where it says MYTHOLOGY and it'll take you straight there! :D

SUMMARY: Hope Gentry doesn’t believe in Fate. Born with an unusual power to see the dark memories of those around her, Hope just wants to be a normal teenager. But on the first day of her senior year of high school, she finds herself irresistibly drawn to a transfer student named Micah Condie. At first glance, Micah seems like a boy that most girls would dream about. But when Hope's powers allow her to discover Micah's darkest secret, she quickly becomes entangled in the lives of mythical entities she never dreamed existed. Was this her destiny all along? And will her powers help her survive the evil of the Demon Impiorum?

Mythology isn’t just for English class anymore.


So bear with me, as I've never done a book review before. :P It might turn out ridiculous and/or laughable. Feel free to tease me about it mercilessly.

MYTHOLOGY is about Hope Gentry, who can see everybody's darkest secrets. Yes, it's as bad as it sounds. How does she deal with it all? In reality, she sees people's souls-- everybody's except Micah's. Micah is a drop dead smexy new boy in Hope's English class. Oh yeah, and he's also a demon.

Helen and I both have angels and demons in our books, and that's not where the similarities end. From gray-eyed protagonists to the resistance of Fate and what it has in store for our heroes, I connected with Hope on a level I don't usually connect with other characters. It helps that she's spunky and blunt, full of personality that you don't see often in other books. MYTHOLOGY was different in a good way, twists and turns you didn't see coming that leaves you gripping the pages until the very end.

All in all, five stars! Now go out and buy it. :P

How did I do? Terrible? Awesome? Somewhere in between? Don't be shy-- I can take your teasings. :P I'm looking at you, Pinky.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

This is Where the Title Goes

I love titles.

I love titles and summaries, to be exact. People allllways tell me: "Don't title or summarize your book before you write it!" But where's the fun in that? I mean, if you're good at it why wouldn't you make your title and pitch first? Because honestly, writing them makes me feel like it's already a book.

Titles are so hard to get right though. I mean, there are those that feel like they could change the world, those that are silly and let you know it'll be funny. Titles can portray what sort of book it will be-- scary or funny or inspiring or a combination of feelings. Titles stick with you, too. Like, am I ever going to forget "The Fault in Our Stars" or "If I Stay"? Will I forget "The Probability of Miracles" or "13 Reasons Why"? (Hint: This is a trick question.) Of course not! That's the point of a title-- fitting a book so you'll never forget it, even if you forget what actually happens in the book. God forbid.

It's very easy for me to come up with titles. I dunno why that is, but summarizing and titling come natural to me. When ideas pop into my head I need to put them down on paper (or in docs, as the case may be), and the words just kinda... write themselves.

Okay, that sounds silly, but I'm having a bit of a writer's block at the moment. Forgive this rambling post of randomness.

Back to relevance: It took me ETERNITY to come up with the title for Death and Other Things I Fail At. Seriously-- I was sitting in class one day and the title just popped into my head. And it was just perfect! Because it gives hints as to what the book's about-- a girl who dies, but sort of doesn't at the same time-- and it's ironic, since technically she did die, but since she didn't apparently she fails at death. Not to mention it's humorous, and it shows that the MC is a teenager (because what adult would say "Yeah, I fail at dying"?), and female for that matter.

Oddly enough, that title came after I came up with the idea for the book. It's usually the other way around. I wrote a sonnet once for school with the lines: "Rage to blood on pearl and lace/Way to kill the human race", which then spurred this crazy book plot about a girl who grew up after zombies had more or less taken over the world and was used to them. So really, the title came first with Way to Kill, as well as Oops.

The Lucky One was a little tricky. At first it was called Harm's Way, and it was actually about a man whose knack for almost dying on a daily basis was softened by the fact that a guardian angel always saves him-- a mysterious woman who shows up, stops whatever it is trying to kill him, and then disappears without a trace. I'm not sure how that plot evolved to the point of going from Adult Thriller to YA Urban Fantasy/Supernatural, or that it needed a completely new title, but it did. I'm saving Harm's Way for when I actually am an adult and can understand how adult stuff works. :P

Of course, changing the title to The Lucky One was fine up until I learned there already was a book by the same name, written by Nicholas Sparks, no less. And then it was made into a movie. Yeah, I'm still a bit bitter about that. What can I say? I feel slightly cheated. That almost forced me into changing TLO back into HW, but I decided it wasn't worth it. Harm's Way is a future project, and The Lucky One fit.

I like titling things, complicated or not. Titles give a book purpose, make it memorable. And summaries, well-- they keep my ideas together. I dunno why they come so naturally to me. They just do. :P

What about you guys? What are some of your favorite titles? Have issues creating pitches and summaries?

Monday, September 3, 2012

Hello Again!

What's uuuup? I decided to do the Gear Up to Get an Agent Blogfest (SEPTEMBER 12th!), which means it's Meet and Greet time! Feel free to drop a comment, ask a question, etc. I am here to introduce myself to you!

So, the rundown on yours truly: I am a sixteen-year-old Seattlite who dreams of someday juggling singing, writing, acting, and spreading the love to the far recesses of the globe! I'm a Leo and quite talkative, I've got about a billion really good friends (most of which are fictional and/or on the internet) and I like to think of myself as outgoing. :P Right, and I like smileys. And sarcasm. And languages (I am (almost) qua-lingual)! I am a writer first and foremost, a crazy teenager second. :)

RIGHT, so, on to the questions! Getting to Know You, part... uh... lost count.

-Where do you write? Anywhere I can. Usually wherever the computer is, which, at any given moment, could be in the dining room or the couch or my room. It changes hands a lot.

-Quick. Go to your writing space, sit down and look to your left. What is the first thing you see? THE KITCHEN! Yeah, I'm on the couch right now. It's very comfortable.

-Favorite time to write? Any time I can write. Usually in the wee hours of the morning when my wonderful insomnia kicks up and my mom's not downstairs to yell at me.

-Drink of choice while writing? Orange soda of any kind. I channel my inner Hardison. (And Spinelli... what is it with hackers and orange soda?)

-When writing, do you listen to music or do you need complete silence? Depends. Like, usually I'll turn on Pandora, and then I get distracted, but then it'll play in the background and I'll just zone out writing. So yeah, depends.

-What was your inspiration for your latest manuscript and where did you find it? Well, my latest manuscript is Way to Kill, which is my 2012 NaNovel. And you're going to think I'm crazy, but I got the idea from the cover I made for it. I have this thing where I find pretty pictures on Google and I want to edit them to make book covers. It turned out that way by total accident, but it looked sooo cool and I suddenly realized that I wanted to write a zombie novel. Not to mention, Riley is a character I usually fall back on for writing exercises, and I was excited to find something that fit her personality.

-What's your most valuable writing tip? Write whenever you can. Procrastination is a writer's greatest weakness-- once it gets going there's no way you'll get something done! WRITE! Even if it's crap, write!

SO, that's me! Nice to meetcha!