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Showing posts from April, 2012

Interview With Screenwriter Vanessa Morgan, Author of A Good Man

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To what extent do you feel that Louis is a good man? Is he any better or worse than the other characters in your screenplay (for example, Vincent or the Homeless Man)? That's a really good question. Most people consider Louis to be a bad person because he's a vampire and because he has to kill people. But... if he doesn't drink fresh human blood, he will be paralyzed for eternity. What would you do in that situation? You probably eat meat, so that means it doesn't bother you that someone has to kill an animal for your pleasure. Apart from the feeding aspect, Louis has a bigger heart than 99% of the people we know – he only kills people who actually 'deserve' it, he donates the clothes of his victims to the homeless, he takes care of animals, he is concerned with the ecological future of the planet and he is actually very sweet to the people around him. Vincent, on the other hand, seems to be the perfect husband on the surface - he loves his pregnant wif

Ellen Reads '50 Shades of Grey'

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Just had to share this awesome clip. Ellen gives Fifty Shades of Grey the reading it deserves. 

Review: A Summer to Die by Lois Lowry

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Let me share with you a very personal story. When we were sixteen, a close friend of mine, a girl I had gone right through school with, was diagnosed with cancer. Melanie. I watched in fear and confusion as she became ill, got better, became ill again and eventually passed away shortly after our high school graduation. No one understood what I went through, watching by helplessly as it all unfolded. People assume that when you're young, you just get over things. You don't. The truth is, I experienced things that I didn't understand--an illness, grieving and my own emotions. Later that same summer, I found a copy of A Summer to Die  at my local library. I read it from cover to cover in one afternoon, thankful that somebody (the author) knew what it was like to  be young and to watch someone your own age die. Lois Lowry, you have no idea how much comfort your book gave me during an awful time ... A Summer to Die tells the story of two sisters, Molly and Meg. The pair

Feature & Follow Friday

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Guess what? It's that awesome time of week again, Feature & Follow Friday. Hosted Parajunkie's View and Alison Can Read , Feature & Follow Friday is a weekly blog hop, designed to help like-minded bloggers connect. This week's all important question is: Q: Have you had a character that disappointed you? One that you fell in love with and then "broke up" with later on in either the series or a stand-alone book? Tell us about him or her. Hmm, this is a difficult one. [Contemplates ...] Okay, please don't shoot, but I'm going to choose Anne Shirley from the Anne of Green Gables series. I loved her in the early books, but later titles (from Anne of Windy Willows onward,) she became a very boring adult - she settled a little too well into her role of wife and mother. The series didn't really pick up again until the last few books, which were about her children.  Another character who really started to annoy me halfway thr

Literary Quotes

If there's a book you really want to read, but it hasn't been written yet, then you must write it.   ~ Toni Morrison

1980s Nostalgia: Slam Book by Ann M. Martin

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Some fans of 1980s nostalgia may not be so surprised to learn that Ann M. Martin, the author of the infamous Babysitters Club series also wrote four novels for young adults in the 1980s. Walking where the likes of Claudia Kishi and Mary Ann Spier would never dare tread,  Slam Book tells the story of how a silly teenage prank ends in tragedy. To give some background to the story, in the 1980s Slam Books were the great fear of parents of high schoolers everywhere. (These days, websites like facebook and formspring are subject to the same kind of scrutiny.) The books were basically a notebook that listed the names of every student in the class/grade/school. Beneath the name of each student, there was a space where his or her peers could write anonymous notes stating what they really thought about him or her and, consequently, could be used for bullying often with tragic consequences. Mentions of them have turned up in popular culture on several occasions (there was a Sweet Valley

Review: A Good Man, a Screenplay by Vanessa Morgan

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You know, one of the perks of a book blog is getting to read some great stuff before everyone else does. And when author Vanessa Morgan gave me the opportunity to review the screenplay for A Good Man, I could not resist her offer. A Good Man,  which is currently in preproduction with Radowski Films, tells the story of Louis a man who became a vampire late in life and is now forced to suffer eternity in the body of a fifty-five year old man that comes complete with arthritis and wrinkles. To atone for the fact that he must murder others to stay alive (if he stops drinking blood, he will be forced to spend eternity as a plant,) Louis does his best to be a good man in other areas of his life - his diet is strictly vegetarian, he donates the clothes of the people he murders to the homeless and at one point, he even adopts the beloved cat of one of his victims. Sadly, his attempts at doing the right thing often come unstuck, with tragic and occasionally comical results. I thought A Good

Review - Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James

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Fifty Shades of Grey - in which the heroine falls in love with a rich control freak with a bondage fetish because she is an idiot. Okay, now that I've got that out of my system, I'm going to talk about what has been one of the most remarkable stories to come out of the publishing industry in recent times. Erika Leonard, was a London based fan fiction writer who worked for a small television production company. In 2009 she penned a Twilight fan fiction titled Master of the Universe under the pseudonym Ice Queen Dragon and published it on fanfiction.net (a truly awesome website--look hard and you'll find some real gems in there). The fan fiction, which took a number of liberties with the plot, most notably with its suggestion that Edward Cullen has a fetish for a watered down version of sadomasochism, became a hit, leading to complaints about the sexual content. Leonard then removed the story, changed the names of the characters to Christian Grey and Ana Steele, and the tit

An Amazing Book Find

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Being Abigail inside Dymocks (My hand was shaking quite a bit when I took this photo.) Followers of this blog may not be so surprised to learn that I love visiting various bookstores around Adelaide. This evening, I made one of my semi-regular stop-offs at the Dymocks bookstore in Rundle Mall. (Dymocks and I go way back. I remember back in the early 1990s when they were in a different location, which could be accessed via the Mall or that Arcade that ran behind John Martins. That incarnation also had a large discount book section upstairs. My first ever purchase was the 1993 Garfield Annual.) This evening, I stopped by Dymocks. Happily, I began to browse through the shelves, taking in the covers and blurbs of various books, when something very special caught my eye: BEING ABIGAIL Kathryn White There, on the shelf of the biggest bookstore in Adelaide was a copy of my book.  Never in a million years did I expect this. I have never approached the store and asked for them to sto

Follow Friday

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Yes, it's that awesome time of week again, Follow Friday. For those of you who may have missed it, Follow Friday is a weekly meme hosted by Parajunkie and Alison Can Read and is intended to help like minded bloggers network with one another. The great thing about this meme is that both of the hosts have a feature blog each week, and there is always a question that gets everyone talking. This week's question is: Q: Fight! Fight! If you could have two fictional characters battle it out (preferably from books), who would they be and who do you think would win? I would have Mr Darcy from Pride and Prejudice fight Heathcliff from Wuthering Heights simply because they are both iconic leading men of British Literature, but are so radically different from one another. Although Heathcliff is probably physically stronger, Mr Darcy would win through his intelligence, character and sense of fair play. Plus, unless your name is Elizabeth Bennet, you don't want to make Mr Darcy an

Interview With Monica Leonelle, Author of Socialpunk

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Monica Leonelle Author of Socialpunk I'm very excited! Monica Leonelle, author of Socialpunk , was kind enough to allow me to interview her via email earlier this week. In case you missed it, Socialpunk is a brilliant young adult novel that I reviewed on Kathryn's Inbox earlier this week. (You can read the review here .) Monica is well-known digital media strategist and the author of three novels. She blogs at Prose on Fire and shares her writing and social media knowledge with other bloggers and authors.  What inspired you to write Socialpunk ? Socialpunk is a bit like The Truman Show meets The Terminator, except Mark Zuckerburg is president of the world. I wanted to do a cyberpunk and Socialpunk is classically cyberpunk, down to its roots. I loved the idea of being trapped in a virtual reality, and then acclimating to the real world. Socialpunk is very reflective of today’s social media-driven world in terms of artists, curators, and influencers. It's definitely a

Socialpunk

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In terms of book blogs, I'm still one of the new kids on the blogosphere, so imagine my surprise, and delight, when I was approached by author Monica Leonelle to participate in the blog tour for her new Young Adult novel, Socialpunk . Monica lives in Chicago and when she isn't writing, works as a digital media stratagist, meaning that she was able to organise a mighty fine blog tour for her new book. Over the past two weeks, I've been following this tour on google and watching as the reviews for her novel have grown. (In fact, if you're an avid follower of book blogs, there's a very good chance that you've heard of Socialpunk already.) Anyway, seeing as the author was kind enough to proved me with a free eBook copy in exchange for an honest review, I'd better do just that ... Socialpunk A lively and fast-paced young adult novel, Socialpunk  offers two very different dystopian glimpses of Chicago in the future. Ima is a timid young woman who lives in the do

Literary Quotes

A wonderful fact to reflect upon, that every human creature is constituted to be that profound secret and mystery to every other. ~ Charles Dickens

The Evolution of Mary Anne Spier

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You know, sometimes I waste far too much time pondering about the things in life that aren't really important. Like how come Mary Anne Spier from The Babysitters Club  is generally considered the least popular character of the series. Now, I think that Mary Anne Spier is awesome. Okay, she may have been a sooky lala who burst into tears at every opportunity and she certainly wore some strange outfits (but hey, Mary Anne's clothes were nothing compared to the weird shit that was worn by Claudia,) but Mary Anne was also the first to get a steady boyfriend (and she told him to get bent when he became too controlling,) lived in a haunted house (okay, Dawn lived there first,) and she was the only member of the group who appeared to be capable of standing up to the others and who could make friends outside of the group. And she managed to do all of this while being an all-round nice person. It was never Mary Anne who bitched or moaned about the other girls, even though she had to con

Feature & Follow Friday

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I found this awesome little blog hop while I was doing the rounds on blogspot today. I'm always up for finding new things to read, so I thought I'd join.  The Feature and Follow is sponsored by Parajunkee's View  and Alison Can Read and the intention (so far as I can tell, anyway,) is to help like-minded bloggers network with one another.  There is also a question to answer this week, so I shall do my best ... What one book or books would you be nervous to see as movie adaption of because you believe the movie could never live up to the book? Hmm, that's a huge question. And as egotistical as it seems, I'm actually going to choose my own book, Being Abigail.  The idea of seeing my own book made into a film terrifies me - what if the filmmakers got some of the most important details (or the things about the book that were dearest to me,) wrong?  But to answer the question about a book I've read, I'm going to choose Lonely Werewolf Girl  by Martin Mill

YA Book Nostalgia

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A lovely surprise waiting for me when I arrived home from work ... a parcel filled with secondhand books. All are Young Adult novels I found for sale on Better World Books (a fantastic site, which sells cheap secondhand books and uses some of their profits to fund literacy programmes in developing countries) and intend to write about on this blog over the coming months. (Along with about a thousand other topics. Actually, I quite like the eclectic nature of this blog.) All of these are books that I read at one point or another during my early teens, but have subsequently been lost or given away, or were borrowed from the library. Anyway, the books I received in the post today are: Find A Stranger Say Goodbye - Lois Lowry I used to love reading Lois Lowry's novels when I was in my early teens. For one reason or another I never read this title. I'm guessing my local library and my school library did not have copies. I suspect this one is for older teenagers anyway, given the b

Garfield

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Today I am focusing on one of my favourite comics the long-running Garfield strip. (For more on my love of comics click here .) For those of you who don't know, or perhaps have never cared to find out, the Garfield comic debuted on June 19, 1978 and is set in Muncie, Indiana. The gags are fairly simple, revolving around a fat, sarcastic cat with a penchant for eating food and his hapless owner Jon Arbuckle. The comics fit in with the standard newspaper format - three panels six days a week and a larger Sunday comic. The weekday comics typically feature a single theme that is played out over the course of a week, while the Sunday comics tend to be self-contained, brighter and tend to rely on visual comedy, rather than wit.  As the strip has now run for over 30 years, the animation and number of characters have changed over the years. The original Garfield was considerably tubbier, grouchier and quite possibly had more stripes than his modern incarnation. See: Garfield as he appea

The Editing Process: The End?

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Final page of the manuscript Behing the Scenes After two solid, eight hour days of hard bloody work, I have finally applied all of the changes necessary to the master document of Behind the Scenes  as well as adding two brand new scenes that will (hopefully) give a key character closure at the end of the novel. (Because without it, my poor unlikely love interest Tom would otherwise be getting a pretty rough deal that he didn't deserve.) Anyway, all of this means that I am coming very close to the end process. From now, the only editing to be done will be to check spelling, grammar, punctuation, etc. This is very exciting, but very, very frightening part of the process. It's good, I am proud of it and I think that I deserve to be. However, it is at this point that fear begins to step in. Is my novel marketable, or even relevant to the current market? How am I going to sum up a complex plot in a 300 word synopsis? How confident do I feel about taking the book to a publisher

Of A Boy - Sonya Hartnett

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It is difficult to know what I should classify this book as, exactly. Written in 2002, Of A Boy  appears in the adult fiction section of my local library and, likewise, in the adult book department at Dymocks. On the other hand, the protagonist is young and the writing simple enough that the story should be understood by a reader in his or her early years of high school. To add to the confusion, the copy that I actually own is one of those popular penguin paperbacks, suggesting it has already reached 'modern classic' status. And then there is the fact that the book won The Age Book of the Year  and the Commonwealth Writers Prize  in 2003 and was shortlisted for the Miles Franklin Award and the New South Wales Premier's Literary Awards  that same year. So please do forgive me for being a little confused. Or perhaps I should just tell you about the book. I purchased this one in 2009. At the time, I had just read Alan J. Whiticker's biography of the Beaumont children and

Henry and June

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Today, I'm taking a complete 180 from the pre-teen novels this site has been reviewing in order to talk about another, but very adult book that has a place in my heart. I first became aware of Ana├»s Nin as a university student in my early 20s when I found a copy of the well-written but uncomfortably erotic  Delta of Venus . At the time, I wondered why an author of such talent was interested in erotica, though there was something wonderfully feminine and imaginative about the tales. At the time I also had other, more pressing questions on my mind, most of them about religion and whether  my application to do Honours in Legal Studies would be successful. (For the record, the Legal Studies department did knock back my application, which I had spent close to a year working on. By a strange twist of fate, another letter from the university arrived in my mailbox the following day, informing that I had qualified for automatic entry for Honours in English Literature. I never looked back.)

The Editing Process Continues, and Other Writing News

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Manuscript for Behind the Scenes and my trusted copperplate red correction pencil. After two and a bit weeks, the process of reading and re-reading the printed manuscript for my novel, Behind the Scenes is slowly coming to an end. With my trusted copperplate red correction pencil by my side, I have discovered numerous grammatical, punctuation and continuity errors within my manuscript. And then there are the scenes that just need to be fleshed out that little bit more. Writing a little more about a key character's backstory might just help explain his motives. Is it truly clear that a key character's change of heart has nothing to do with wanting to help the heroine, but that he knows there is going to be trouble and he wants to cover his own backside?  There have been moments when I have wondered how anyone who claims to be a writer could make such an obvious mistake, other times I have breathed a sigh of relief that I picked up the error sooner rather than later. And ma