Xander comes from my current and most successfully written WIP, Cliche, where poorly written characters come out of their poorly written books to confront their authors about it, and hilarity ensues. (Morgan Freeman’s kind of there too, because who could have a good story without a fictional character who at least looks like Morgan Freeman in my mind’s eye?)
Hi everyone! I’ve been invited to take part in the 2016 Chapter One Young Writers Conference blog tour, featuring guest posts, interviews, and giveaways from the esteemed founders all around the writerly blogosphere. Julia, Ch1Con’s amazing founder, is here with us today to talk about how the Star Wars film franchise has influenced her as a writer. But wait, there’s more – we’re also hosting a Rafflecopter giveaway for a complete YA or middle-grade manuscript critique by Julia! (Because WordPress.com is a spoilsport, I can’t be cool and embed the raffle widget in-post – click the link, please. I promise, it’s 100% Rickroll-free.)
That said, take it away, Julia! 🙂
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Hey, guys! My name is Julia and I’m the founder of the Chapter One Young Writers Conference, an annual writing conference for and by teens and young adults.
Usually, I’ll encourage people to read a book before watching its film adaptation, or just read the book exclusively. I’ve had a very hard time getting my head around Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, mostly because the plot is sooooo long-winded and monotonous, so I did the unthinkable and watched a movie version instead.
Reader, you could say I’m a little obsessed with the Brontes. I’ve been rereading Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte, mostly after having written a “LEAVE MR. ROCHESTER ALONE” rant based solely on memory and Wikipedia. Since I love ranting about Bronte books, I think I’ll use this as an opportunity to post a long, blow-by-blow review of Jane Eyre as I read it. I’d apologize for boring and inconveniencing you all, but I’m not sorry in the least. 😛
At the moment, I’m in the book’s early chapters. So far, the story’s chronicling Jane’s unhappy childhood. She is bullied frequently by her cousins and aunt-by-marriage, and the servants tend to turn on her in any familial conflict. (More on that later.)
In these early chapters, we’re introduced to a shy, quiet girl who loves to read and has some really novel perspectives on the world she lives in. This is the Jane whose character captivated me as a reader. At this point, I’m seeing the beginnings of the proto-feminist “strong female character” modern analysts praise (despite the book and character’s seemingly counter-feminist shortcomings later on). When I read about this young Jane, I want to be this kid’s friend so badly. I want to be a superhero trio that smashes injustice with her and Helen Burns (her friend you’ll meet later). Continue reading “Allison Reads Bronte: Jane Eyre, Part One”→
A lot of people think Where the Woods Grow Wild was my debut novel. It’s actually not, but I’m totally okay treating it as such because my very first self-published novel was a bit (fine, a lot) of a fiasco in its inception. Some of you have read it: Little One, published just about two years ago and republished (with a lot of improvements) a few months later.
I’ve written about this in past posts and random tweets, but I decided to share the five biggest mistakes I made when first self-publishing Little One. Most of them were due to an utter lack of experience, so if you’re building towards your first release, maybe I can save you some trouble.
#1 Not asking for beta readers
News flash: beta readers are amazing. They should be an integral part of your self-pub journey. They’re the first eyes to see…
Hey guys, guess what? I read a YA book and actually loved every page of it!
Walk on Earth a Stranger by Rae Carson had me riveted to the page, and I’m not just pulling a book reviewer phrase out of a hat here. I read the entire book in a day, stopping only for meals and chores, and when I did stop, I got antsy. I needed to know what happened next in the fictional world of Lee Westfall. I can read quickly when I’m reading a physical book, but I haven’t been this transfixed by a one in ages.
Summary (as told by yours truly): It’s 1849, and our protagonist is a tomboyish girl from the state of Georgia named Leah “Lee” Westfall. She’s an only child and her father’s ill, so she does most of the manly work on their farm, including hunting. So among her peers, she’s already considered a bit weird. What’s even weirder is that she has a secret ability to sense gold. This ability has brought wealth to her family, though they can’t really cash in on it without raising suspicion. Plus, there isn’t much of it anymore in her locale, but there’s talk of finding even more of it in California. Her best friend Jefferson wants to go west in search of it, and wants Lee to join him. As tempting as this sounds, Lee hesitates. Then one day, Lee comes home to find her mother and father murdered, and their hidden supply of gold stolen; at the funeral, she identifies the culprit by the teeny traces of gold dust, imperceptible to the naked eye, that remain on his/her person. He/she knows about Lee’s secret ability – as the culprit closes in on her, Lee prepares her escape. Disguised as a boy, she heads West on her own, hoping to reunite with Jeff along the way. The road is rough, and the company of travelers she joins faces a series of trials, from disease to theft to mysteries only a gold seer can solve.