Sunday, July 31, 2011

ICE German Cover Reveal

I recently caught my first glimpse of what will be the cover art for the forthcoming German edition of my novel ICE! This translated edition comes out in Germany in February 2012, published by Lyx, an imprint of Egmont. They gave it a lovely new cover as well as an awesome new subtitle. It's called Ice - Hüter der Seelen, which means, acccording to Google Translate, "Ice - Keeper of Souls". Oooooh. I love that! And here's the cover art, which I love as well.

To me, Germany will always be the place where I saw my first real castle.

My dad had a business trip to Germany when I was ten years old, and he took me along. This was a Big Deal because (a) it was a trip to Europe (my first), (b) my dad had never taken me with him on a business trip before, and (c) it was a trip to EUROPE, which to me meant fairy tales and witches and werewolves and knights and castles!

I was a wee bit obsessed with castles. Pretty much, if you had offered me a choice between a decked-out mansion with sixteen swimming pools in Hawaii and a drafty, tumbled-down castle in Scotland, I'd have been on the plane to Glasgow. Unless the mansion had sixteen libraries instead of swimming pools. Then, we might have had to talk...

But back to Germany. While my dad did businessy things, I stayed with a family he knew. The family asked what I wanted to do, and I said, "See a castle." I may have even swooned from the thought of it.

Unfortunately, this was translated to German as the equivalent of "palace" and they took me to see a decked-out mansion.

I remember being terribly disappointed but too polite/shy to say so. But my dad noticed, and the next day we drove until we found a real castle! I remember it was yellow and in ruins and did not have a moat or a dragon or jousting knights, but I loved it. In my mind, I peopled it with kings and queens and wizards and talking animals. It was one of those special moments when reality and fantasy intersect.

Coincidentally or perhaps not-so-coincidentally, age ten was also the year that I decided that I wanted to become a writer.

Labels: , , ,

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The Shape of Stories

I think about story shape a lot.

Apparently, I am not the only one. I found this video on the SFWA website of author Kurt Vonnegut talking about the shape of stories:

Sometimes I describe my writing process as building a creature from the inside out. In the first draft, I'm constructing the skeleton. Then I add muscles so it can move. Lungs so it can breathe. Heart so it can feel. And then last, I layer on the skin so that the reader doesn't see all the goop underneath.

But it's that first draft, the skeleton draft, where I am discovering the shape of the story.

My personal favorite story structure goes a little like this:

La-la-la. AHHHHH!!!! Oh, no. Oh, no. OH, NO!!! Yay? Yikes, yikes, YIKES! Phew. AHHHH!!!! Go, go, go! Wheeee!!! Ahhhh.... Smooch.

I wonder sometimes if my preference for story shape has been determined by the kind of books I read, OR if the kind of books I read (and write) is determined by my preference for a particular story shape...

What do you guys think? Is story shape something you notice as you read/write? Do you have a favorite story shape?

Labels: , ,

Thursday, July 14, 2011

To Punctuation, With Love

The serial comma suffered a serious blow the other day. The University of Oxford Public Affairs Directorate deemed it unnecessary. This disavowal carried weight because the serial comma (i.e. the comma before the "and" in a series of nouns, such as "dragons, unicorns, and were-llamas") is nicknamed the Oxford comma.

I like that a punctuation mark can have a nickname. I think I shall call semicolons Fred.

Fred is one of my favorite punctuation marks; he holds a special place in my heart... a place right between two independent clauses... :)

But I digress.

Anyway, I am a strong supporter of the serial comma. Think how its absence changes this infamous, yet apocryphal,
book dedication: "To my parents, Ayn Rand and God."

Really, though, I love all commas. And all punctuation. Commas, periods, semicolons, dashes, ellipses... they are the silence between the notes. Just as essential to the music as the sounds.

Do you have a favorite punctuation mark? What do you think about Fred?

Labels: ,

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Kirkus Review for DRINK, SLAY, LOVE!!!

Eeeeeeeee!!! Look what my editor just sent me -- the very first trade review for DRINK, SLAY, LOVE! And it's good!! Eeeeeeeeee!!!

Please excuse all my eeeeeeeeeee-ing, but I'm just so happy about this. (And relieved...) And HAPPY! (And RELIEVED!) It's hard to describe the intricate blend of emotions that authors experience when a new book is coming out. For me, there's a feeling of great accomplishment and joy, certainly, but no matter how proud I am of my work, there's always some anxiety too. And by "some anxiety" I mean TOTAL PANIC!!! Will they like it? Will they?! WILL THEY?!?! So when the first big trade publication comes out with their review, it's a tense moment to say the least. I hope for the best, prepare for the worst, and then... gritting my teeth... crossing my fingers... I... I... I totally wimp out and make my husband read it first. :) But I digress.....

Check out what Kirkus Reviews had to say about my new precious:

DRINK SLAY LOVE (reviewed on July 1, 2011)

A unicorn gives new life to the now-tired teen supernatural romance—kind of literally.

Being a teenager really sucks. But life is carefree for Pearl, 16 years old, beautiful, a born vampire with a hot boyfriend and tasty pickings at the all-night ice-cream stand. At least it seems carefree…until she’s stabbed by a unicorn. Suddenly, she can walk in the sun without burning up. She can attend school, make friends with kids who used to be prey and maybe even have a life away from her very scary mother. Her vampire kin can’t understand it—but they can hardly wait to take advantage of it. With the King of New England coming to initiate new members of the local clans into vampire aristocracy, Pearl’s family has been chosen to provide the feast. And what makes a better feast than the junior class? If only Pearl weren’t beginning to develop a conscience. What to do…stay loyal to family or preserve the life of her new BFF? Decisions, decisions. Combining a sense of humor with dark appeal of supernatural romance, this book is funny, scary and thought provoking all at once. Pearl is a feisty heroine who meets her match in the unicorn, who refuses to give up on her.

Even jaded fans of the supernatural will find fun in this one. (Paranormal. 14 & up)

-- Kirkus Reviews

Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!! Today, I am a very happy Sarah.

Labels: , ,