Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Psych Saturday Opens: Questions Needed!!


Calling all writers!

As I mentioned in a previous post, I want to give something back to the writing community, so I'm starting psych Saturdays - I receive an email from my wonfer ful readers concerning an issue (e.g. a character's phobia or body language or mental illness) they have with their fiction.

People seem to be really interested in this, so I'm hoping for a good response.

If you have a question/query etc. please send it to emilycross09@gmail.com and in subject line put: psych saturday.

Greatly appreciate as much detail as possible as it will make it easier for me :)

Hopefully people will be interested enough to email in!

*fingers crossed*

Thanks everyone :)

Sunday, June 27, 2010

GGG Galway

See yeh all Thursday!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

I'm just an American Idiot. . .

Due to the stars aligning in my favour, a few days ago I received a gift of a GreenDay ticket to Marley Park! Wahoo!!

So, last night myself and SC partook in a bit of moshing and arm waving in the balmy weather.

Greenday were brilliant. They played non stop for two and half hours, so I was well impressed!

Have to say, their attitude is amazing - not an ounce of diva in any of them. They don't take themselves too seriously and letting some fans sing their songs was class!

BUT

Not to be a moany bitch but there were a few things that were so annoying:

1. If you are going to actually make the effort of having big screens - please put them high enough so people in the back who are not 6 foot can see them! What is the point of having them the same level as the stage. If I can't see the stage, how the f**k shall I see the screens?

2. Tall people - F**k sake

3. People on other people's shoulders - F**k sake twice

4. Starting the concert at 8.30!! - F**k sake thrice - no atmosphere till it was dark - waste of perfectly good pyrotechnics and fireworks.

5. People who pay 70 yoyos to see a band. Yet, they don't know the words to most of the songs. I got my ticket for free, what the hell were the other people's excuses??

Everytime Billie (lead singer) stuck the mic out to the crowd to sing, it was welcomed with the dull mumblings of people who honestly don't have a notion . . .

Tis such a sad state of affairs when the crowd actually only started getting lively and singy when they played 'hey jude' . . .

Is this what happens to certain bands that are seen as 'cool' to go to? People go, yet don't actually know their songs!?!

Poor Greenday - I really felt for them.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Opinions Needed - New Project?

Since and before I started this blog, I have gained and learnt so much from browsing the blogosphere and reading wonderful and insightful posts by both aspiring and published writers and publishing insiders.

For a while I've been pondering about what I could possible contribute to this knowledge base. I'm not a published writer, I'm not an editor or agent and I'm really only learning about the ins and outs of the writing business, so what can I contribute!?!?!

To be honest, I don't consider myself an expert in anything -

but I have a psychological background. . .

Mulling over this, I came up with an idea (oh no you say, another one lol)
Do you think reader/writers would be interested in 'Psych Saturdays' - a weekly/fortnightly/monthly (depending on responses) post answering readers psychological questions relating to their writing?

For example, if you had a character with a phobia, perhaps you could ask me about how would this phobia occur? or what type of behaviour would your character display if they had OCD? or if your character was depressed, what therapy would they most likely attend? etc.

I've set up a poll below (and on the sidebar) -I would really appreciate people's answers (and thoughts if you'd like to leave a comment below) about whether you think this is good/bad idea and whether you would use it.

P.S. if you really want, you can also email me emilycross09@gmail.com, if you have suggestions or possibly psychological questions to get this project started!




The Week in Book News

So what's been happening in the world of book news for the past week?

In Book News. . .

Richard and Judy have joined up with WH Smith for a new book club. For autumn, then spring and summary 'The Richard and Judy Book Club' will return. It will be promoted in stores but not through a TV show. Read more here. . . For non UK/Irish readers, Richard and Judy are two presenters who book club has launched many excellent books into the bestseller list. As a buyer, you are 99% guaranteed a brilliant read if a book has Richard and Judy stamp. Glad to see this is back again - will make picking good books alot easier.

In lieu of global deals, US publishers are chipping away at traditional UK rights territories, with India being on of the most contested areas, followed by Malaysia, South Africa and Singapore. In most cases US publishers seek non-exclusive rights, meaning that although UK pubs can export, they have to compete on launch dates and price. Seems there may be a bit of conflict ahead which will make spats over territories 'small skirmishes' when compared with larger issues of global territories which is "a huge battle to be found" according to Anthony Goff, President of Association of Authors Agents. Read more here. . .

Penguin accidently axed the fictional foreword of Lolita, Penguin is now pulping the books and reprinting - whoopsy!

Artemis Fowl has been voted the Puffin of Puffins (68%) in a national poll, set up to celebrate the 70th anniversary of Puffin Modern Classics. Read more here. . .

Transworld plans on publishing two untitled books by Terry Pratchett, which were started in 1986 but left unfinished because of the DiscWorld Series. The Books are due out in spring 2012. Read here for more. . .

Everyone knows the genuis that is Stephen Fry, but soon the world will get to know the secrets of Mrs. Stephen Fry! Edna Fry (who has 56,000 twitter followers) shall recount her life as a celebrity wife and mother of 5-7ish kids in her 'top secret diaries' which Hodder & Stoughton have acquired. The book will be published in Hardback this Christmas. News reports state that Mrs. Fry has been very excited since hearing the news, having a good chat with Mrs. Norton and Mrs. Winton. Personally I can't wait to hear all the sordid secrets of the Fry household! Read more here. . .

Popular Self-help author Wayne Dyer (never heard of him myself?) has been accused of plagarism by author Stephen Mitchell (nope, never heard of him either) who filed a copyright infringement lawsuit in LA yesterday. Mitchell claims that Dyer plagarised 'at least 200 lines' from his Tao Te Ching: A New English Version in two books and digital spin offs. Read more here. . .

In the happening world of the book blogosphere. . .

The amazing Nathan Bransford has done another critique post on Monday (and will again today around GMT 21-23.oo) which provides great insight into the mind of agents who are assessing your work!

CKHB has done a great post listing of agent and publisher's blogs - invaluable information so check it out!

The Wonderful Rachelle Gardner, is talking contradictions and confusion for writers in regards to Feedback and Advice on signing with agent !

Edward Nawotka from publishing perspectives ask the question: Does working help or hinder your writing. . .


AND extremely important post which shall have huge reprecussions on writers everywhere (or should I say 'cuddly' writers such as myself) - so definitely give this a read. . . i'm making a shopping list as I type lol. . .

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Beautiful Cover. . .

Wandered into Eason's and saw the new range of Walker Canongate books, which are (so far) 4 classic books (like Life of Pi) which have been repackaged toward YA market (smart people!). Pretty Monsters (left cover) caught my eye so like SJP with a pair of manolo blahniks, I couldn't leave it behind. . .

VERSUS


Which do you prefer?

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Where is the Romance and the Parents?


I was abroad recently, and brought some nice escapist YA urban fantasy/paranormal romance books along to keep me company while I watched the 6th rerun of the same story on CNN (by the end of my trip, I had the stories off by heart).

Although I found these books to be good page turners and I did enjoy them, there were some things that niggled me abit.

WARNING

I'm quite Vanilla when it comes to giving opinions on books etc. I'll rant and rave about myself or RL, but I like to keep this place squeaky clean - as the public face of Emily Cross. Now, I'm going to have myself a rant about something which has been sitting on my for a while -

I've come to saturation point reading certain YA books (you know the ones - I'm not referring to the whole of YA paranormal genre in this post, just certain books), so this is more to do with this saturation than perhaps the books themselves (or maybe it is to do with them - they saturated me in the first place??).

Anyhoo I am just so sick of seeing this pattern:

'boy meets girl. Girl meets boy. Boy goes neanderthal. Boy knows she is his. Boy has pretty eyes. Girl knows she is his. Girl is taken back to the cave. Parents don't care.'

Now in fairness, there have been some books that have done a better job at balancing the romantic relationship than others - but even in these more balanced books there are small sections and bigger sections of other books which make me:

stop.

look.

listen.

and then scratch my head and check the calendar date, it is 2010, right?

I'm an equal opportunities etc. sort of girl. Men and women are different, but can't we be equal too? In the realm of some YA paranormal romance (like i said previously, this is about some not all YA PR books), there is this message about what love and relationships should be like, which doesn't consider different types/stages of love or abuse of love and in my opinion certainly doesn't consider equality between the sexes as represented by Hero and Heroine and their relationship

I've read some books where I just want to shake the main character and say "What the F**k is wrong with you!" shortly followed by "Where the hell are your parents!?!"

Other bloggers such as wonderful Anne R. Allen mentioned this, and linked to very good article. At the time, I said - tis a plot device! You're more likely to be able to sneak out at night, have boy stay in your bed or run around fighting x,y,z if you're parents don't know that you exist or care!

After reading the 10th book or so, where MC is in a boarding home/staying with relatives/single parent who doesn't care/self-absorbed - it really started to annoy me. I get that this is good to allow action to happen - but if you want some conflict for a teen - trust me, over protective parents or normally protective parents provide plenty of that! YA is all about growing up and relationships changing - not just between girls and boys but also with your parents. I think alot of PR YA has forgotten this element - removal of the parents is just easier for the romance and paranormal stuff, but what about young adult element which involves having your relationship change with possible the most important people in your lives.

When I read these books (and i'm not that far from my teens. . . mentally i'm still 17 but not sparkly - yet) I think of my own parents - maybe I'm sheltered but sometimes i think the biggest fantasy element of alot of these books is the relationship between parent/guardian and teen. Seriously, your 16 and your parents don't notice a guy is in your room or sharing your bed?!?!

Then I look at the romance element:

Where is the element of uncertainty? This whole instant soul mate supernatural thing makes it so easy for romance to bloom, doesn't it? Reading alot of these books, I have only found few where it seemed to me, the romantic element was significantly drawn out and done realistically. Maybe I'm a relationship dysfunctional spinster, but where is the doubt? where is the questioning of 'does he like me for me or cause he is obsessed with me?' Is this happening too fast? Do I really need this drama in my life? Does he love me? Is my butt big in this?

I think back (and I think now) - It is not that easy. I know this is the element of Paranormal Romance that is essential - food for the heart etc. but I don't think it would ruin the romance to have love develop and not be 'love at first sight'. One of the masterpieces of literature and romance (which has spawned a 1001 books and films based on it's plot) is 'Pride & Prejudice' - Darcy and Elizabeth's love developed - there eyes didn't meet and instantly they imagined 's/he's the one for me - i will now be obsessed and stalkerish' - they meet and he thought 'she has nice eyes but is a bit poor and doesn't have the best figure a bird can have' and she thought ' he's a stuckup know it all, wandering round the dance hall like his S**t doesn't smell' and it developed from there. . .

To be all Glee about it, the Journey is the best part!

Just to end this rant, I want to reiterate that I know there are amazing YA PR books out there that portray parents as caring individuals, and more importantly (IMO) portray young love in a healthy and more normal way. Some have love at first sight, others have love that develops - but when it's well done - it doesn't matter.

P.S. Please if any one has some book recommendations, drop a comment (especially YA PR)

Image source 1

Thanks for listening/reading my rant!

Friday, June 11, 2010

GLEE-irific Book coming soon. . .

Note: I'm going to be doing a book news update here and on Writer's Chronicle blog once a week (usually on a monday- but I thought I'd post this now)

Well for those of us, who love GLEE - it's time to Rejoice (or not) because even though the series is over for the moment - there's money still to be made.

Publishers Weekly has revealed that Little Brown have just announced that they are launching a 'Glee' publishing programme starting with a prequel entitled 'The Beginning' which delves into the backstories of our favourite characters!

Cha-Ching!

Not entirely sure how this will work? The appeal of Glee (for me) is definitely the music BUT if they have the writers of the show (i.e. the person who writes Sue's lines) writing those books then I might pick up a copy!
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