Carrie Harris | Young Adult Author

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Last Day for Entries!

It's the last day for entries into the BTIB Sugar Lips ARC contest, and the competition is fierce! Like the kind of fierce that puts sugar on the DOG.

Need some ideas? Take a look at what these sugar-lippish geniuses have done!

Cari has sugar lips AND a public service announcement:


Bookluvr Mindy has a bunch of very hyperactive sugar lippy children...and don't get me started on the dog:



If you're widget impaired like me, you can write a blog post like my fellow undead Spice Girl, Mummy.

I'll accept entries until midnight tonight, EST. Even if all you do is change your twitter icon or put the cover in your sidebar, you're still entered to win--and that's EASY. So what're you waiting for? Go here to submit your entries.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

How My MC Would Survive a Zombie Apocalypse - A Guest Post by Matt Blackstone

Good (insert time of day), shambling hordes! Today, I've got an uber awesome special treat for you. My friend Matt Blackstone is celebrating the upcoming release of his book, A SCARY SCENE IN A SCARY MOVIE, which comes out July 5th. The cover alone made me snarf milk out my nose. I'd gush about the innards too, but I'm still waiting for my copy to arrive so that I can gush properly. COME ON, UNIVERSE! GET WITH THE PROGRAM!

Anyway. Matt's a really good sport, because he didn't blink an eye when I told him I would love to see a guest post on how his OCD main character Rene would deal with the zombie apocalypse. And the result is...well, I'll let you see for yourself.


See, this what I’ve been talking about.

Kate should never have aced all those biology tests. Something bad was bound to happen. You’re not supposed to pass so many tests with flying colors. Flying colors are not your friend. Too many good things are not supposed to happen to one person and karma is a female dog. Plus, on more than one test, Kate got a 94%, which not only is another “A,” but it’s an unlucky and dangerous number because 9+4=13. Kate should never have accepted that grade. She should’ve added a mistake to her paper and settled for a 93. Or a 92. Or a 91. Or a 90. Or God-forbid, a B+.

I’ve been watching my grades, my routines, my movements. I don’t move on any time of 13. 4:36 is unlucky because 4+3+6=13. Same with 5:35. And 6:25. And many others. On times of 13, I stand still and measure my breathing and when the time is safe, I move and breathe, but if a see a coin face-down, I don’t pick it up. If my hands aren’t clean, I wash them. And if they still aren’t clean, I wash them again. And if I’m unsure, which is most often the case, I smell them.

Why? Why do I go to such lengths?

Because they prevent bad things from happening. Really bad things. Doomsday scenarios like sickness and death and lice in your hair and bombs and bad grades and bad friendships and family members and accidents—and now, thanks Kate, a zombie apocalypse.

Which is why I’m now wearing my Batman cape. It’s supposed to comfort me in situations such as this, but I’ve never been in a situation like this because I thought zombies were only in the movies and now they’re at my school which is scarier than a scary scene in a scary movie and they smell like barf and everyone knows that barfing is way scarier than a scary scene in a scary movie because your body has a mind of its own and can’t press pause. But even I'd prefer to be barfing than have someone barf on me. That is the opposite of b'noodles, which is a unique and cool word that means "unique" and "cool."

Stupid Aaron Kingsman. Stupid Kate Grable. What am I supposed to do now?

Just yesterday, some beefy football players whose breath smelled like beef tried to bite me. I thought it was Johnny Van Slyke because he’s always biting me in the shoulders especially when he “doesn’t have time to eat lunch” and because “fruit cakes are meant to be eaten.” But the doubly beefy football players want to eat me alive! There isn’t enough soap in this city and state and country and continent and universe to clean their germs off of me. I want to march up to every beef-smelling, flesh-eating zombie and yell, "GET OFF MY BISCUIT!"

But they'd kill me.

So, good luck, Kate and Aaron. From now, I’m staying in my room.


Matt's website
Follow him on Twitter

Rene, an obsessive-compulsive fourteen year old, smells his hands and wears a Batman cape when he’s nervous. If he picks up a face-down coin, moves a muscle when the time adds up to thirteen (7:42 is bad luck because 7 + 4 + 2 = 13), or washes his body parts in the wrong order, Rene or someone close to him will break a bone, contract a deadly virus, and/or die a slow and painful death like someone in a scary scene in scary movie. Rene’s new and only friend tutors him in the art of playing it cool, but that’s not as easy as Gio makes it sound.


I think this post is the sauce of awesome, don't you? And who is looking forward to A SCARY SCENE IN A SCARY MOVIE as much as I am?

Thanks for visiting, Matt!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

What It's Like in the Month Pre-Publication

Good morning, shambling hordes! Have you entered the six jillion BAD TASTE IN BOYS contests to win a free copy? Links are in yesterday's post if you haven't.

I'm afraid all I can talk about these days is work and writing and things, because it's pretty much all I've been doing. I set out the slip n' slide (so often that it popped), douse the kids in sunscreen (despite the fact that the sun isn't showing up too much these days), and let them go all crazycakes while I squint at the laptop and hopefully type in edits that make sense.

I just know my editor is going to get the manuscript and send me a note saying, "Carrie, what exactly did you mean by changing the title to THE TIGER AND THE MUMPH? Is this a joke?"

And I will say, "BAHAHAHAHAHA! You fell for it!" Because I'm all suave that way. Of course, now that this is out in public, I guess I just de-suaved myself.

So anyway, it's all work, all the time here at Chez Harris. Edits for BAD HAIR DAY, the next Kate Grable adventure, are due on Friday. I finished the last of my scheduled interviews yesterday. And I've got oodles and oodles of awesome things for you to bid on in Night of the Giving Dead, the celebratory auction of epic epicness, coming on July 11th to a computer screen near you!

Anyway, with all this going on, there's not much time to eat, sleep, or breathe around here. But I'm having a blast! Yes, it's stressful and scary and surreal and probably some other things that begin with "S," only not slimy. But it's so much fun to open my inbox and see that people are excited to read my book or like my blog or think I'm certifiably insane. I keep thinking this will all feel real when I hit the next landmark, but I still feel like I'm dreaming.

Which is quite plainly awesome.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Linky McWinky

I am ALL OVER the interwebs right now. And there are LOTS of opportunities to win BAD TASTE IN BOYS, as well as the opportunity to learn about the time I cut off the tip of my finger and why the official tweet of Zombie Craze is "Hot tubbing, monkey loving, lawn flamingoing, ninja garbed, marshmallow flingers deserve to survive the Zombie Apocalypse too."

Hint: I may have had something to do with it.

So. You can find me at Bookish Brunette's Zombie Craze, along with a giveaway!

Read about how my job history prepared me to write about zombies and check out yet another giveaway at Books at Midnight!

Learn a little more about what I think sets my zombies apart from other zombie adventures at the lovely Chanelle's blog, along with a pre-order giveaway!

ABSOLUTELY DEFINITELY visit my fellow undead Spice Girl, Vampy, aka Kelly Breakey, and enter her giveaway too! And then please return here to watch me bang my head against the wall because I originally missed this link. MY BAD.

Rie over at Mission to Read asked me a lot of fabulous questions I've never been asked before, about steroid use and bulging eyes and things. I had so much fun answering them, and you can read it all here!

And then, of course, there's the BAD TASTE IN BOYS Sugar Lips ARC Giveaway, which is still up for grabs through Thursday! Check out these two awesome entries...

The first is courtesy of Taylor Lynn. And it features one of my friends doing his best zombie imitation...which always cracks me up.


This is courtesy of Vivi, who needs medication. In the best way.


LOVE. I haven't gotten a thing done, because I just keep looking at all these videos and things and wondering how in the heck I'm going to CHOOSE.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Things That Make Me Snarf - YOU GUYS

You guys crack me up. Here's a small sample of the BTIB Sugar Lips ARC contest entries I've gotten.

From Mercy, who I think should still be entered into the contest and have the prize sent to a library or something since she wisely doesn't give out her address on the net. Because THIS blog graphic is awesome.



From Lesley, who READ MY MIND, a movie poster:



Sharli made an awesome slide show in which everyone is sticking their tongues out at me...

I'm so amused by all of this that I had to get in on the fun.

Gimme some sugar, baby.


And then my kids had to get in on the fun...







Keep the entries coming, people! Remember, the ARC will go to one random entry, so if all you have time to do is post a photo on your blog or twitter, that counts. And the final copy with SEKRIT NOTES FROM ME will go to the person of my choice, who wows me with sheer volume, snarftastic creativity, or a combo of both.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Bookanistas: VARIANT by Robison Wells

Welcome to Bookanista Thursday, wherein a group of authors rant about books we loved, and you grumble and grudgingly add them to your list to be read and wonder if you'll ever get through it. Don't worry. I do the exact same thing. WE ARE IN THIS TOGETHER, PEOPLE. WE SHALL SURVIVE THE NEVER ENDING TO-READ LIST IF IT KILLS US. Like, death by paper cut or something.

Anyway. Today I'd like to talk about VARIANT by Robison Wells. It doesn't come out until October 1st, and normally I try not to talk about them so early, but I'm worried I'll forget all the awesome details if I wait that long. And honestly, it's worth pre-ordering NOW. It's that good.

The Goodreadable deets:
Benson Fisher thought a scholarship to Maxfield Academy would be the ticket out of his dead-end life.

He was wrong.

Now he’s trapped in a school that’s surrounded by a razor-wire fence. A school where video cameras monitor his every move. Where there are no adults. Where the kids have split into groups in order to survive.

Where breaking the rules equals death.

But when Benson stumbles upon the school’s real secret, he realizes that playing by the rules could spell a fate worse than death, and that escape—his only real hope for survival—may be impossible.


So I have a geektastic admission to make. When I saw the cover, they had me at "Trust No One." I still own an old X-Files shirt too.

This is one of those books that's hard to talk about without spoiling it, so I'm going to try and keep this relatively short. THIS BOOK CREEPED ME OUT. It's so rare that I get really, honestly chilled by a book, but VARIANT got hold of me and held me tight. This is one heck of a claustrophobic book. Benson goes into Maxfield with a cautious feeling of hope--as a foster system kid he's been burnt many times before, and he has no one to turn to for help. But moment one at the school feels...off somehow. And the place just gets creepier. Nothing about how it's run makes sense, and did I mention that it's really CREEPY?

To make matters worse, there's some LORD OF THE FLIES flavored tension too, because not all the kids at Maxwell are nice. And some of them are downright murderous...

Dum dum DUUUUM.

I highly recommend VARIANT if you don't plan on doing anything for the rest of the day. Because you won't be able to put it down until the last page, and then after that you'll be online looking for info on the sequel.

While you're at it, don't forget to check out these great Bookanista reads. And there's also a chance to win a BTIB ARC here if you missed it!

Elana Johnson adores Hourglass

Beth Revis has cover love for Incarnate

Shana Silver swoons over Supernaturally

Rosemary Clement-Moore jumps for Jinx

Stasia Ward Kehoe praises Possession

Gretchen McNeil is giddy about Moonglass

Sarah Frances Hardy brags about The Grandma Book

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The Sugar Lips BTIB ARC Giveaway!

I cannot believe that BAD TASTE IN BOYS comes out in 20 days. The waiting time really crawled in the beginning. And then about three months ago, I went into hyperspeed and haven't come out since. Hopefully I'm not about to land on what I mistakenly think is a small moon and get stuck in a garbage compactor with a killer eyeball on a stalk.

Although when you put it that way, it sounds kind of fun.

Anyway. I am so happy to tell you that I managed to dig up ONE LAST ARC. And I am giving it away. Like, NOW. That's right; it's the official SUGAR LIPS BTIB ARC GIVEAWAY! EEEEEEEEEEEEEE!

The rules are simple. I'm giving out one last ARC to a lucky reader who helps spread the sugar lippy love. You can do this a lot of different ways. Post my lip-tastic cover on your blog or facebook. Change your twitter icon. Take a picture of yourself with sugar lips and post THAT. Make a slideshow of people with sugar lips. Give your dog sugar lips. ANYTHING that is sugar lip related and references BAD TASTE IN BOYS will qualify.

Post me! Post me! NOM NOM NOM.


Tell me what you've done in the comments below. You have until June 30th to get your entries in; I will post the winners on July 1st before I take a week off. That's right, peepul. There will be TWO WINNERS.
  • The LAST ARC (unless I dig up another) will go to one random participant. You'll get one entry for every post or mention. But you've got to tell me about them in the comments.
  • A BTIB hardcover with SEKRIT NOTES will go to one person of my choice. These notes will give you info that I haven't talked about in interviews, like who the original villain was in early versions of BTIB, and my favorite funny lines that I had to delete, and things like that. I'm looking for someone who wows me with sheer volume or cracks me up with some hilarious sugar lippy creativity.

This giveaway is open internationally, so run forth and sugar those lips! And please do ask questions in the comments, because I'm sure that I've forgotten to tell you something important.

Lip on, people. Lip. On.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

How to Write Humor - Tip #1

So apparently, I'm pretty good at this humor thing. Most of the BAD TASTE IN BOYS reviews say so, and we know that reviews are usually right, except for when they're written by highly caffeinated monkeys in which case they're not even written in a recognizable language. The thing about writing humor is that it's tougher than it looks. People who can tell a good anecdote and get their friends laughing can't necessarily write good humor, because those really are two different skills. So I thought it was time for me to give a few tips to those of you who are interested in adding a little more humor to your manuscripts or struggling with the funny bits you've already got in there.

My tip for today's pretty simple. Yoda T will tell you all about it.

Use restraint you must, fool. Or pity you, I will.


What Yoda T is trying to say is simple. One great joke is better than seventeen lesser ones. This is a common problem that I see in reading manuscripts, especially when they're written in first person. Funny narrators don't have to be funny all the time. Lots of jokes slow down the pace and make it tough to follow your plot. And it gets annoying, kind of like the preschooler who tells you knock-knock jokes, all of which involve butts, for a half hour straight.

Don't be the butt-obsessed preschooler.

It's pretty easy to tell if this is a problem. Get out your manuscript and highlight the funny bits, where the narrator's making wisecracks, or using a funny turn of phrase, or your characters are taking pratfalls, or you've inserted a completely random element for the comedic value, or whatever form of humor you've chosen. There are exceptions to every rule, but generally speaking, watch out for big blocks of text where there's a zinger in every sentence. Consider cutting those blocks down to the lines with the most impact. One or two really great ones will get you more laughs than five right in a row. I cut some of my favorite funny lines from BAD TASTE IN BOYS, and I hated to see them go, but strangely, the chapter was funnier without them. Because the ones that were left really popped.

Remember, things that are unexpected are funny. If you lead your reader to expect a wisecrack every time Bazoomas McFly opens her mouth, you've shot yourself in the foot.

How do I know this? In BAD HAIR DAY, Kate ends up in competing for Aaron's attention. And her competition is very well endowed. In the last version of the book, Kate made a lot of boob jokes, and my editor suggested that maybe there were too many. My manuscript, she said, needed a breast reduction.

Yeah, my editor out funnied me. Maybe she should be writing this!

Are you struggling with making your funny bits funny? Ask me questions in the comments.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Finally!

Sorry for the unexpected hiatus. There was a lot of frustrated pulling of hair and even a few tears here at the Harris house last week. I may have also made a voodoo doll shaped like people who create computer viruses. And then I may have given it elephantiasis.

Actually, I didn't do that. But it's TEMPTING.

In the meantime, fun stuff has been happening, though! I got the first final copy of BAD TASTE IN BOYS! I even have pictoral evidence.

Eat your heart out, Jolie. My lips iz biggur than urz.


SPARKLE SPARKLE SPARKLE NOM NOM NOM.


No, REALLY. NOM NOM NOM.


Also, the lovely people at Kirkus said BTIB is "a hilarious frolic, especially for fans of Shaun of the Dead." There's a full review here if you like to taunt yourself by reading about books that aren't out yet.

AND, today is the last day you can enter to win an ARC over at Goodreads. Get thee hence and enter, good peoples!

Um, yeah. Think I need more caffeine.

Monday, June 13, 2011

AAARGH!

Sorry, guys. I have a pesky bleeping computer virus that I can't get rid of despite trying for hours last night and for a while this morning. So I'm going to have to keep this short.

But the incredibly annoying gets mixed up with the good, because I heard through the grapevine that I'm going to get a sneak peek at the finished copies of BAD TASTE IN BOYS! Which I will of course share with you!

But for now, I hope you'll excuse me, because I'm going to go make a voodoo doll shaped like the people who made this stupid virus.

Friday, June 10, 2011

The Power of Sparkles

I've been a little tired lately, what with all the end of the school year stuff and the one month until launch stuff and all the other...well, STUFF. Clearly, I need some kind of pick-me-up to help get me through all these things. I debated vitamins or exercise or all the things that the experts say you should do. But then I realized I was missing the most obvious solution of all.

I'm going to cover myself in sparkles.

Clearly, sparkles impart extraordinary powers. With the power of my sparkles, I should be able to keep the house clean, take care of the garden, and write a book in a 24 hour span. And then I can spend the rest of the month alphabetizing my cd collection and watching people sleep.

Frankly, I can't believe I haven't thought of this before. From now on, I'm going to get all my life tips from YA books. Can you think of any good ones?

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Bookanistas: TEXAS GOTHIC by Rosemary Clement-Moore...and a VIDEO

First, let there be squealing. Because all of us Bookanistas went pretty whack-a-ding-hoy when we learned that another of our members hit the NYT bestseller list. And there was much jumping off trains in ninja cowls and rescuing kitties from tall buildings and swimming with sharks and playing...chess?

Luckily, we have video evidence.



Huge congrats, Veronica! DIVERGENT is one of the coolest reads I've picked up this year; if you haven't read it, you need to.

Anyway. Let's go on to another awesome upcoming read, TEXAS GOTHIC by Rosemary Clement-Moore. I'm so proud to be a debut twin with Rosemary--both of our books hit the shelves on July 12th. And seriously? Her book is the BEST.

Not convinced? LET ME CONVINCE YOU. Here's the info from Goodreads:
Amy Goodnight's family is far from normal. She comes from a line of witches, but tries her best to stay far outside the family business. Her summer gig? Ranch-sitting for her aunt with her wacky but beautiful sister. Only the Goodnight Ranch is even less normal than it normally is. Bodies are being discovered, a ghost is on the prowl, and everywhere she turns, the hot neighbor cowboy is in her face.

So, here's my thing. This book is so DIFFERENT from what's on the YA shelves now. I'm not sure what made Rosemary say, "I think I'm going to mash together ranching and ghosts and forensic anthropology." But it's just plain brilliant. The result is a fast-paced, witty, exciting read that feels really distinct--I'm used to YA protagonists worriedly chasing down assorted bogeys. But I'm not used to seeing them do that while also juggling a bunch of tree climbing goats, generations-long ranching feuds, and a visiting cadre of anthropology types who stir up the pot...and a few dead bodies.

In short, this book is more than just a beautiful cover. Come July 12th, you need to pick it up, and I sure as heck hope to see more Goodnight books in the future.

While you're at it, why not check out what the rest of the Bookanistas are up to!

Elana Johnson and Stasia Ward Kehoe savor Bad Taste in Boys

LiLa Roecker celebrates The Summer of the Bear

Christine Fonseca has got a surprise for a Bookanista buddy (ooh—curious?)

Beth Revis interviews Blood Magic author Teresa Gratton

Carolina Valdez Miller enjoys a special celebration

Jessi Kirby and Megan Miranda gush about Imaginary Girls

Bethany Wiggins is crazy about Delirium

Shana Silver sings praises for Starcrossed

Jen Hayley applauds Possession

Veronica Rossi hails Hereafter

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Win a BAD TASTE IN BOYS ARC!!!

FINALLY. I'm FINALLY able to give away an ARC of BTIB to one lucky person. And all you need to do is hop, shamble, lurch, or otherwise make your way over to Goodreads and register for the giveaway! They'll pick a winner; I'll mail the book. How awesome is that???

It's HERE.

I have my fingers, toes, and other crossables crossed for you!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

I'd Google That

I think one of the best things about being an author is the Google searches. I have a legitimate reason to Google "how bobbleheads are made" or "roller derby referee signals." (We went to the derby this past weekend, and it was FRAWESOME. Whoever came up with it is a certifiable genius, plain and simple.) And really, in what other profession can you reasonably Google these things? Unless you are a bobblehead salesman who moonlights as a derby ref, there probably aren't many.

Although if you are, please email me, because I might want to write a book about you.

But then for some strange reason, I turn around and laugh at the search terms that bring people to my site. Like, somebody recently found me by searching for "the universe loves me," and I often get visitors looking for some "hallo-wow." And I think, "What on earth would make someone google THAT?!?"

And then I realize, "Duh. I would totally Google that. And then tell people it was for my job, which might not necessarily be true."

What weird things have you googled lately?

Monday, June 6, 2011

Save Ze Date - Launch Party Annoucement Type Stuff

Hola, peepul! I have NEWS. Like, if I had bells in the house right now, I would put them on. But I don't. I looked.

No, really. I honestly looked.

So please imagine me capering around my house with imaginary bells on as I tell you a little about the launch events for BAD TASTE IN BOYS.

First, if you're in or near southeast Michigan, you should come to my launch party! I'll be at Nicola's Books in Ann Arbor on July 23rd at 2 PM. There will be lots of zombie related awesomeness, and a hugeola door prize that will be given away to a random person who donates a new children's book to the University of Michigan children's hospital!

Can't make it without inventing a teleporter first? (Trust me, I know the feeling.) You can still participate in my big online launch event called NIGHT OF THE GIVING DEAD. Who says that zombies can't donate to charity? Night of the Giving Dead is a charity auction benefitting the Giving Library at U of M Mott Children's Hospital. They give a book to every sick child, and I think that's totally awesome. Over the next few weeks, I'll tell you a little more about Mott and what it means to me. THERE WILL BE PICTURES OF MY HUSBAND, AND HE'S HOT.

Yes, I just attempted to bribe you.

Anyway, from July 11th through the 25th, you'll be able to bid on a variety of awesome things, from signed NYT bestsellers to some awesomesauce manuscript feedback from agents, authors, and editors. I've got over 80 donations so far, and I'm determined to make it to 100. Have something you'd like to donate? You are awesome. Drop me a note at carrie@carrieharrisbooks.com. There will also be a GRAND PRIZE. And free swag. And generalized awesomeness. And zombies.

I'll be telling you more about this over the next few weeks, then I'll be taking a short family vacation, and then it'll be time for boys that taste bad. Or something.

I should probably have some bells by then.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Things That Make Me Snarf - The Impostors

The Impostors is one of my favorite movies of all time. At fancy events, Slayer will occasionally come up to me and quote it. "Would you like to daunce? EXCELLENT!!!" And last night we went out to the official end-of-fellowship dinner (sadly, no dancing), and somebody said something that made me think of this movie. I'm sure that the thing they said was funny, but I can't remember it.

Sorry.

But this video is funny! You should watch it.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Bookanistas: WRAPPED by Jennifer Bradbury

Happy Bookanista Thursday! Be prepared for lots of good book recommendations, because that's just how we roll.

Today, I've got to tell you about this fabulous book that I read recently called WRAPPED, by Jennifer Bradbury. WRAPPED just hit the shelves about a week ago, so I'm not taunting you with one you can't get yet. You're welcome. And here's the book description:

Agnes Wilkins is standing in front of an Egyptian mummy, about to make the first cut into the wrappings, about to unlock ancient (and not-so-ancient) history.
Maybe you think this girl is wearing a pith helmet with antique dust swirling around her.

Maybe you think she is a young Egyptologist who has arrived in Cairo on camelback.

Maybe she would like to think that too. Agnes Wilkins dreams of adventures that reach beyond the garden walls, but reality for a seventeen-year-old debutante in 1815 London does not allow for camels—or dust, even. No, Agnes can only see a mummy when she is wearing a new silk gown and standing on the verdant lawns of Lord Showalter’s estate, with chaperones fussing about and strolling sitar players straining to create an exotic “atmosphere” for the first party of the season. An unwrapping.

This is the start of it all, Agnes’s debut season, the pretty girl parade that offers only ever-shrinking options: home, husband, and high society. It’s also the start of something else, because the mummy Agnes unwraps isn’t just a mummy. It’s a host for a secret that could unravel a new destiny—unleashing mystery, an international intrigue, and possibly a curse in the bargain.

Get wrapped up in the adventure . . . but keep your wits about you, dear Agnes.


Awesome, right? This book reminds me of an Indiana Jones adventure, only instead of a hunky, scruffy guy with a whip, the main character is a spunky debutante with a flair for languages and a thirst for adventure. This is exactly the kind of book that I would have loved in junior high--a little romance, a lot of adventure, and a bunch of cool Egyptology. I could totally see this as a movie; something's always happening, and the fast pace made it pretty much impossible for me to put the book down until the end.

This book totally fueled my Egypt fever. Any more good Egypt book recommendations out there?

In the meantime, check out this week's Bookanista titles!

Elana Johnson gushes over Blood Magic

LiLa Roecker adores Hourglass

Christine Fonseca sings high praises for Possess – with giveaway

Shannon Messenger applauds A Need So Beautiful – with giveaway

Megan Miranda has a passion for Possession

Carolina Valdez Miller sees beauty in Between Shades of Gray

Bethany Wiggins finds Bad Taste in Boys delicious

Shana Silver celebrates A Need So Beautiful

Stasia Ward Kehoe delights in Delirium

Rosemary Clement-Moore is giddy about Hourglass

Sarah Frances Hardy finds the awesome in Okay for Now

Myra McEntire welcomes Blood Magic author Tessa Gratton into the Fort

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Lit Reality

Sorry to be so late today! Had to take my herd of children to the doctor's office to get shots and purple cupcake band-aids.

That's one of those things that doesn't really happen in books, isn't it? Literary characters rarely pee, and if they need to, it's always at the most inconvenient times. They never just see the bathroom at the mall and realize, "Oh, I have to go." They also don't wash their faces very often, and they usually only wake up once--inevitably right at the beginning of the first chapter. People in books don't seem to need to do much yard work and their carpets seem to miraculously clean themselves. Frankly, I'm thinking I might like to be a literary character, because other than the potty thing, it sounds like a pretty good deal.

It's funny, because I know a lot of writers who shoot for realism in their books, but is that really an accurate term? Because in most cases, reality is what we're trying to escape from when we pick up a book. I'm not so interested in the adventures of a soccer mom, because I live them. Although if it's a demon fighting soccer mom, then we're on, bay-bee. Totally.

Plus, the so-called "reality" in books isn't really all that real. I think it's more "realistic" than anything else--you're picking and choosing bits of a life that are interesting and leaving the rest out. Yes, your hero probably makes a pit stop after getting into that brawl with the school bully, and then when he gets home, he finds out that his mom bought the wrong brand of underwear, and it's the kind that gives him red marks around his waist, and why can't she remember that, darn it? And then maybe they argue about that a little before he goes upstairs and finds the bully waiting for him in his room.

Most books skip over the underwear and peeing bits in an effort to tell a good story, as well as the driving-places-in-the-car and the getting-vaccinations and the grocery-shopping-excursion stuff. It's all in the quest for a good story, and I don't have a problem with that. But sometimes I see new writers get confused, because they're being told that their scenes need to feel real. I totally agree, but I think that you still need to pick and choose those bits that move your story along and make THOSE as real as possible.

What do you think? Am I making any sense at all here?
 


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