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Posts Tagged ‘vampire’

inkpopper of the Week: Jennii

Posted by cat eyes & skinny jeans on June 6, 2011

“Hmm… about me… well, I have a thing for grammar. It’s the only reason I’m passing English because, quite frankly, I don’t like freshman English; perhaps it’s the only thing I’m capable of despising besides laws that aren’t constitutional and breaches of freedom of speech (I heart the First Amendment).

“I’m a bit of a headbanger. Corey Taylor of Slipknot and Stone Sour fame and Otep Shamaya of… well, of Otep, are my musical idols. Concerts are my weekend activities when I have the cash to buy tickets and there’s a good band playing locally. But don’t let that fool you. I’m on the youth leader council for my youth group and have been going to church for somewhere around a decade. I have a love/hate relationship with my DSLR.

“As for the trivial things, I am a southern California resident. I live in a boring suburb that doesn’t even qualify as a small town because every inch of space has a house crammed in there. I hope to go to college at Trinity in Dublin, Ireland because I like European history, Trinity has a good English department, and Ireland is gorgeous. I have a three-legged dog who is made of awesome. I am a nerdfighter (DFTBA). I read a lot and it disrupts my sleep habits, but it’s not as if I don’t write until I’m hunched over the keyboard with my eyes half-open on a regular basis. Speaking of which, I like writing. Just thought I’d throw that in there.”

It’s a good thing that Jenni (aka Jennii) likes writing, because the people of inkpop? Well, to put it bluntly, they love her work – as evident by the Gold Star her project Stake My Heart earned in February 2011, and the rapid pace at which her new project, Things Unseen, is climbing the charts.

Your project Stake My Heart is incredibly popular on inkpop, and received a gold star in the February 2011 Top Picks. How did it feel to see it garner so much success; and receive such a fantastic review? Is Stake My Heart a project that you are still working on, or have you shelved it for the time being to devote time to something new?

Jennii: It felt a little bit… odd? I’d written a few novels already, but I never let anyone see those. Then, I sign up to this site, write this novel that I only wrote because I wanted to write about a metal band, and suddenly I have people telling me they love Michael and that the band reminds them of this one band I used to be into, Black Veil Brides (that was certainly an ironic comment, as I’d just interviewed the guitarist). The review was nice.

In relation to the next question, it kind of made me annoyed with the fact that Stake My Heart has been discontinued. Especially since starting Things Unseen and having people respond to it even better, I just don’t have any interest in SMH. Not to mention, I read over the last ten or so chapters that I crammed in just to finish. It’s weird to see my own improvement that’s happened in just the past year—and I thank God that I improved.

Your most recent project, Things Unseen, has only been on the site since March 31, 2011, yet it is already ranked as # 138 on the charts, and climbs higher with each passing day. How does it feel to know that you are quickly on your way to making it into the Top 5? What is currently going through your mind? Since you have already made it into the Top 5 in the past, do you feel differently about it this time?

Jennii: Well, this is the first time I’ve seen the rank in a few weeks, so I’m not sure how to feel. I’ve actually paid no attention to where it’s been. I don’t scroll down my page to see it, and I cover the part of the screen when I’m updating. It’s nice to know that it’s still climbing, though (thanks, Zoey and whoever else has been promoting).

As for what’s going through my mind… I need to work on chapter twenty-one, I need to edit sixteen, seventeen, and maybe another one before Zoey spams me, and I need to go back and fix up some little things that I keep forgetting to fix up. If it gets into the top five, it will come as a surprise to me the day I log in, seeing as I’m not looking at the rank. I’d be honored, but it starts to feel anti-climactic, in all honesty. I forgot about SMH’s review for a couple weeks after February ended, then one of the other February top fivers messaged me, asking if I was anxious. It felt odd. All I want is the input; numbers really aren’t my thing.

Both of your projects fall into the Horror / Paranormal / Romance genre. Would you say that this is your favorite genre to write? Would you ever consider writing something completely different from these genres? If so, which one and why?

Jennii: I’d say that it’s what I’m most familiar with. I’ve been reading it for years now. Romance is generally a mainstay in whatever I read; I’m a terrible romantic, despite not liking to date. Paranormal and horror are nice, but that’s just where most of my ideas fall in most instances. I’ve got two ideas that I’ve been playing with that are both different. One is a general fiction idea that I’ll probably never write simply because it’s straight-up romance (think mass-market paperbacks by one of those middle-age women who can pump out nine books every five years). The other is in the outlining stages until I finish Things Unseen and will be a dystopian romance, although it may tip-toe the line of horror as some of my other projects have done.

Obviously, what with Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight and other vampires in pop culture, people are incredibly opinionated when it comes to them. Seeing as how vampires are a focal point in Stake My Heart, what are your thoughts on them, and how they are represented in the entertainment industry (books/movies/TV)? How do you feel your vampires compare?

Jennii: I feel that they’re fictional beings with roots in ancient superstition. Every culture has its vampires. I’ve done research into it for my last three books, and it’s really made me aware of the fact that they differ so much. It’s ridiculous how people bicker over them. There really is no “real” vampire. The one we know best is the one that’s due to uneducated, superstitious people digging up bodies and seeing the natural states of composition (bloating, skin pulling back from fingers and toes to make nails appear to be still growing, etc.) and assuming their dead Great Uncle Bernard has been chomping on the villagers. Other cultures believe in demons that feed on the psyches of their victims. There’s a whole culture today where people call themselves “psy-vamps” and “feed” on the emotions of others.

I think that it’s great that writers are creating their own idea of the vampire, but some variety is nice. That’s what I like about my vampires; they stick to tradition. I love writing the hero that’s just plain Michael/Aidan/Keir/etc. or just plain Aria/Haven/Belle/etc. They have their weaknesses, and there’s just about nothing they can do to be more than human. When the monster’s got the best cards in the deck, the hero and heroine have more room to grow stronger; they have to work hard to win, and that lets them develop more.

What do you feel influences your writing and why?

Jennii: Random little things. Like I said, Stake My Heart came about because I wanted to write about a metal band. I fronted a metal band, so I guess that’s where the idea first stemmed from. The watch on the cover of Things Unseen actually belongs to me. It’s a 108-year-old Ingersol Junior from my great-grandfather. I was holding it one day and just thinking about all the history that’s in it. The thing is so damaged inside, it’s got to have seen a lot. It felt almost magical because I adore history, and that watch has been through almost the entire twentieth century. Things Unseen spawned from that and a bunch of little notes about the idea.

I also tend to get ideas from little things I see, but that’s usually for little bits and pieces of scenes. It’s fun to imagine the stories behind certain people, and that sometimes creates a new story or scene in my head.

Who was your favorite childhood author and why?

Jennii: I have no idea who wrote the Magic Treehouse series, but those were my first chapter books. I stayed up reading them until one, much to my parents’ chagrin. I also loved my books on Greek mythology, bugs, and dinosaurs, but I’ve got the same plight there. R.L. Stine held my attention fairly well. I only read some of the Goosebumps books, but they were enough to feed my little mind.

Pop, Pop, Pop! Rapid Fire Questions:

Favorite song? Palace in Flames or Fetish for the Finite by Fearless Vampire Killers (Look them up; they’re amazing and need a bigger American fan base.)
What’s on your iPod? Fearless Vampire Killers, Slipknot, Casting Crowns, Otep, HorrorPops, Rise Against.
Hidden talent? I can lick my elbow, but people are more surprised that I can sing.
Twilight or Harry Potter? Harry Potter.
Book you could read over and over again? None. My mind retains things for two years, at the least. If it’s gone sooner, it’s not worth rereading.

Over to you…who do you think should be the next inkpopper of the Week?

Erika (aka inkpoperika)

Posted in inkpop Interviews, inkpopper of the Week, Teen Talent | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

Valentine’s Day Haiku Contest

Posted by inkpopbecki on February 11, 2011

Unless you live under a rock, you’re sure to have noticed the heart-shaped-boxes full of chocolate that are lining the shelves of grocery stores. That’s right . . . Valentine’s Day is just around the corner! We thought we’d get into the Valentine’s Day spirit with a little poetry contest. And when we say little, we mean it—3-line poetry only!

Whether you’re celebrating love with chocolate and flowers or inducing a self-inflicted sugar overload in the hopes of drowning out that disgusting red-and-pink motif, we want to see your best haiku. From now until the big V-Day, write your own haiku for a chance to win a prize pack full of four awesome love stories.
So what is a haiku? A haiku is a traditional form of Japanese poetry that is made up of three unrhymed lines. The first line has five syllables, the middle line has seven syllables, and the third line has five syllables. Each of our featured authors has written an example haiku, check them out below!

How to Enter:

Write a haiku and post it in the comments section of this post or on Twitter with the hashtag #VDayhaiku between February 11, 2011-February 15, 2011. If you’re going the Twitter route, make sure you’re following @inkpop [link: twitter.com/inkpop] so we can Direct Message you if you win!

The Theme:

Any haiku about Love! Whether it’s first love, puppy love, love-at-first-sight, anti-Valentine’s Day, or a break-up haiku we want to hear it!

The Prize:

Five (5) winners will be selected at random from entries received to win a prize pack that includes books from debut authors Anna Humphrey and A.M Robinson, as well as Catherine Clark and New York Times bestselling author Maureen Johnson. Read more below about these authors and the books in the prize pack below!

Check out some haiku examples from our prize-pack authors below!

Anna Humphrey
Got dumped via txt
by my chickensh*t boyfriend.
Virtual <3break.

A.M. Robinson
Impromptu to-do
for Vampire Valentine’s Day:
Buy new turtleneck.

The  vampire swore that
the candy heart said “Bite me.”
Beth, dead, was doubtful.

Judy soon found out
Better no Valentine’s date
Than a zombie one

Catherine Clark
Time to trade up when
You get no rose, no candy
Hallmark won’t do it.

He’s so adorbs when
He goes into sugar shock
Thinking about me

Maureen Johnson
On Valentine’s Day
It is acceptable to
Eat someone’s heart

More About the Prize Package

Rhymes With Cupid

Goodman’s Gifts & Stationery Store
February 14
Cashier: Elyse
3 boxes of heart-shaped chocolate . . . $12.00
Chocolate is the only good thing about this nauseating holiday.
4 containers of candy hearts . . . $5.00
Ever since my ex cheated on me, I’ve sworn off love. Too bad my new neighbor Patrick didn’t get the memo.
1 Valentine’s Day card . . . $4.50
I’m not interested. Although, he is pretty cute. And sweet. And funny.
1 singing Cupid doll (promotional item) . . . $0.00
Stupid Cupid! Point your arrows at someone else. . . .
Subtotal . . . $21.50
It’s going to be a complicated Valentine’s Day.

Anna Humphrey lives in Toronto, Ontario with her husband and kids.

Vampire Crush
I swear, my life was always totally normal.
Normal house, normal family, normal school. My looks are average, I don’t have any superpowers, no one’s showing up to tell me I’m a princess—you get the picture. But when my junior year started, something not normal happened. There were new kids at school . . . new kids with a wardrobe straight out of a 19th-century romance novel, and an inexplicable desire to stay at school until sundown.
And on top of that, James Hallowell showed up. James, who stole my sandwiches in fourth grade and teased me mercilessly through middle school. James, who now seems to have the power to make my heart race any time he comes near.
But something weird is going on. Because James rarely goes out during the day. And he seems stronger than your typical guy. And he knows the new kids, all of whom seem to be harboring some kind of deep secret. . . .

A. M. Robinson grew up in Indiana, but now lives in New York City, where she works in the publishing industry. She graduated from Indiana University with a double major in English and Chinese, but she is obviously only using the first one. Vampire Crush is her first book.

Maine Squeeze

Two irresistible and hilarious love stories (and really cute boys)!
In Maine Squeeze, eighteen-year-old Colleen Templeton can’t wait for summer. She’s going to share a house with her best friends, earn money for college, and spend every free moment with her boyfriend, Ben. It’s the perfect plan. At least until she discovers that she’s going to be working side by side with Evan, the guy she dated last summer—the best summer of her life . . . until he broke her heart. Will Colleen be able to keep her cool when this summer starts heating up?
Courtney Von Dragen Smith didn’t plan on being single her senior year. But in Banana Splitsville, thanks to her now-ex-boyfriend Dave, single is exactly what she is. And miserable. That’s okay, though, because she has a plan: steer clear of boys for the rest of high school. Oh, and stick to a new vegan diet. But it turns out that ignoring all guys (well, really one guy in particular) is about as hard as keeping away from sundaes when you work at Truth or Dairy. Is Courtney falling in love again? (With more than that dish of scrumptious ice cream?)

Catherine Clark is the author of several novels for teens, including The Alison Rules, Picture Perfect, and Maine Squeeze. Originally from western Massachusetts, Catherine now lives in Minneapolis, and works as a bookseller in Saint Paul at the renowned Red Balloon Bookshop. She occasionally teaches and even more occasionally goes running. She always loves hearing from readers through her website and corresponding with fans via e-mail.  She and her husband have two children: a daughter, and a 10-year-old Australian shepherd.

13 Little Blue Envelopes
Inside little blue envelope 1 are $1,000 and instructions to buy a plane ticket.
In envelope 2 are directions to a specific London flat.
The note in envelope 3 tells Ginny: Find a starving artist.
Because of envelope 4, Ginny and a playwright/thief/ bloke–about–town called Keith go to Scotland together, with somewhat disastrous–though utterly romantic–results. But will she ever see him again?

Coming April 26, 2011: The Last Little Blue Envelope
Ginny Blackstone spent last summer traveling around Europe, following the tasks her aunt laid out in a series of letters before she died. But when someone stole Ginny’s backpack—and the last little blue envelope inside—the journey came to an abrupt end. Months later, a mysterious boy contacts Ginny from London, saying he’s found her bag. Ginny heads overseas and gets caught up in a whole new adventure, filled with old friends, new loves, and once-in-a-lifetime experiences. Ginny must hold on to her wits . . . and her heart. This time, there are no instructions.

Maureen Johnson is the author of The Key to the Golden Firebird, 13 Little Blue Envelopes, The Bermudez Triangle, and Devilish. She lives in New York City.

Posted in inkpop Game | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 123 Comments »

From Debut Novelist to Bestseller: Inside the Mind of Kiersten White

Posted by inkpopbecki on October 20, 2010

We have to admit it, there are a lot of books on the shelf at your local bookstore. So how does a debut novelist make her (or him) self stand out enough to become a bestseller? Kiersten White is here to discuss her experience. Want to hear more? Join us for a live chat today at 7 p.m. EST at the inkpop event forum.

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Could you describe the process of selling your first novel?

I wrote my first YA novel in June of 2008.  I edited it for a month, then queried 50 agents for three-and-a-half months before signing with my fabulous agent, Michelle Wolfson.  That book went on sub to editors in January of 2009, which is also the month I wrote Paranormalcy.  After a while it was clear that the first book wasn’t going to sell (age issues with the main characters), so I spent a few months editing Paranormalcy.  I was more than a little nervous to send it out, but we put it out on sub at the end of July and HarperTeen pre-empted it a little over two weeks later!

What does it take for a debut novelist to hit the bestseller list? What did you do to really help promote Paranormalcy?

It’s always an interesting thing to watch which novels hit the bestseller list and which don’t, and it’s nearly impossible to predict.  For a debut novelist, the only thing you can have going for you is buzz since readers don’t have anything else of yours to kind of advertise your writing for the next book.  So, I would say there are three elements that need to come into play for a debut novelist to hit the bestseller list.
1)    Publisher support.  This can’t be emphasized enough.  HarperTeen was immensely supportive and did a phenomenal job of getting books out to bloggers, independent booksellers, and people in the book industry.  No one can talk about a book they haven’t read, and we were able to generate great pre-publication buzz.
2)    Online platform.  I have a very active blog that I’ve been keeping for over three years now.  It was never meant to be a marketing or publicity tool—which is why it helped.  People came to my blog, got a taste for my writing, liked it (or me), and decided to give my book a try.  It was almost like offering a daily free sample of what they could expect if they bought a book from me.  Blogging isn’t for everyone, but it’s something I enjoy doing and people seem to respond well to it.  Through blogging and twitter there were a few thousand people who heard about my book that never would have otherwise.
3)    A very good book AND luck.  This is why I will always say write the very best book you can!  Harper getting ARCs out wouldn’t have made a difference if no one liked the book.  It was a perfect combination of people hearing about the book and enjoying it that led to such great pre-pub buzz.  It didn’t hurt that Paranormalcy got picked up as an Indie Next pick, or that Barnes and Noble decided to do a floor display for it.  All of these little things combined with a book that people responded to created a perfect storm situation, culminating in a surprise spot on the bestseller list!

Paranormal is such a popular area right now, how did you come up with an idea that you felt was original?

I think one thing that helped is that I didn’t set out to capitalize on the popularity of the genre.  When I wrote Paranormalcy I actually had a different type of book on submission that I assumed would sell.  Paranormalcy was very literally just for fun.  I decided to be playful, really aim for a different take on popular paranormal tropes.  I think that the book and the ideas in it are unique because I wasn’t trying to make it like anything else, or take advantage of any market.  I let the characters, the humor, and the story be their own!  My advice is always to tell the story you want to tell.  Don’t try to “make” it anything because you think that’s what is or will be popular.  Good writing and real storytelling will always be popular!

Want to hear more? Join us for a live chat today at 7 p.m. EST at the inkpop event forum.

Posted in Inside the Mind | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Just a Modern Romance: Inside the Mind of Cassidy Calloway

Posted by inkpopbecki on September 29, 2010

With so many vampires, werewolves and love stories set in a world far beyond our universe, it’s hard to remember that there are any other kind of books in the marketplace these days. Yet the simple story of girl like boy, girl does everything–in her natural power–to date boy, girl and boy finally get together and live–presumably–happily ever after, is still out there. It is tried and true because readers can relate directly to the plot.

So how do writers create these types of stories and really make them stand out in today’s market? Cassidy Calloway, author of Confessions of a First Daughter and the new novel Secrets of a First Daughter, will be live on inkpop at 5 p.m. EST to discuss what it takes to write a modern romance. We caught up with Cassidy before the chat about her books and writing in general.

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There’s a big trend in the teen marketplace right now toward paranormal romances. What inspired you to write a contemporary romance?
As a writer, I’ve learned to never chase a trend. Novels can take years to write and years to publish. Also you’ve got to write the books you feel compelled to write. FIRST DAUGHTER was inspired by a weekend of watching WEST WING re-runs on TV. The last presidential elections were only starting to heat up. I thought that a teen like Morgan Abbott would make a wonderful president because she wouldn’t get sucked into the craziness of politics. I love real, human romantic leads. Vampires, werewolves and ghosts just aren’t my type.

How do you make your books stand out?
In my opinion, there are two ways a book leaps off the shelf to grab a potential reader’s attention.  One is to have a really great cover that speaks to what the book is about but is eye-catching.   HarperTeen has really hit the mark on the covers for both CONFESSIONS OF A FIRST DAUGHTER, and now, SECRETS OF A FIRST DAUGHTER.
Second, the story concept needs to be strong, which means having characters readers can connect with in a plot that intrigues them.  I like funny romantic stories with characters who are a teensy-bit oddball, yet likable.  So in the case of the First Daughter stories, the concept: the president’s daughter who needs to be perfect because the whole world is watching her grow up is meshed with Morgan Abbott, a lovable klutz who is anything but First Daughter material.  Readers who want a fast-paced book that’s loaded with humor and romance set in the backdrop of the White House will hopefully pluck the book off the shelf and give it a try.

Contemporary romances tend to be set in real time and are based on realistic people. How do you strike a balance between making your characters and storylines relatable, while still making them feel fresh and different from our own lives?
The human experience is universal.  One of the things I love about contemporary romances is that it IS rooted in reality.  A reader who is struggling with parental pressures or who is agonizing over what to wear for a date can identify with the problems presented to the characters in the book.   For the Morgan books, however, no teen has a mother who is the President of the United States (yet!) and who lives at the White House.  There’s a curiosity factor about how a person like that grows up in the public eye.  How do you deal with seeing your mom being the leader of the free world but still telling you to go clean your room?  How do you go out on a date with a horde of paparazzi following your every move?  Hopefully, readers will want to find out!

Another aspect of writing a contemporary book is that setting requires just as much if not even more world-building by the author as any alternative reality novel.  For example, for the Morgan books I did a lot of research about the lives of the First Children, living in the White House, and Washington D.C.’s political backdrop.  There was no fudging with these details because readers will know if you don’t get it right.  For SECRETS OF A FIRST DAUGHTER, the story moves to London which required another level of research. Let’s just say that our disaster-magnet Morgan takes international diplomacy to a whole new level!

Want to hear more? Join us for a live chat with Cassidy Calloway at 5 p.m. EST on inkpop forums.

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Writing Paranormal: Writing Tips from Bestselling Author Kiersten White

Posted by inkpopbecki on September 24, 2010

Writing paranormal fiction sounds like fun. Just like fantasy and science fiction, there are rules that have to be adhered to when creating work in this genre. Think you have what it takes? Check out these writing tips from New York Times bestselling author Kiersten White, then pop over to inkpop to join the Paranormalcy Writing Challenge.

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1- My first writing tip is always the same: Edit!  First drafts are wonderful, but most of what makes books great happens in editing.

2- When writing paranormal, it’s very important to have your world setup believable (or as believable as something with vampires/faeries/werewolves/leprechauns can be) and consistent.  Decide on the “rules” and write them down, then stick within the boundaries you’ve created.  It will help make your unbelievable story work!

3- Read your work out loud.  Nothing will help you identify awkward phrasing or stilted dialogue faster than having to say it to yourself.

4- Research.  If you can’t come up with an idea for paranormal or urban fantasy that you like, try going back to traditional folklore stories.  You’ll be amazed at what you find and it’s bound to trigger your imagination!

Want to hear more from Kiersten? Check out here blog at www.kierstenwhite.com.

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Just Do It: Writing Tips from Melissa Francis

Posted by inkpopbecki on July 21, 2010

When it comes to writing getting back to the basics is the best advice that you can receive some times. Series author Melissa Francis, whose new book Love Sucks is in stores now, has some practical advice on getting down to writing. If you think you have what it takes, enter the Love Sucks Writing Challenge at inkpop.

1. Everybody’s writing process is not the same. Figure out what works best for you and don’t let anyone tell you that it’s “wrong” just because it isn’t what works for them.

2. Don’t shy away from your natural voice.
3. Even when life sucks and writing is hard, try to write something every day. Writing is like exercise…even when you love doing it, if you stop for too long, it really is hard to get started again.

4. You don’t have to write what you know (it is fiction after all…I mean, I don’t know one single vampire in real life! or do I?) but you really should write what you love. If you’re writing to trend, it will show.

Now you know. Enter a piece in the Love Sucks Writing Challenge for a chance to win Melissa Francis’s new book Love Sucks as well as other HarperTeen titles.

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Writing Comedy: Inside the Mind of Adam Rex

Posted by inkpopbecki on July 7, 2010

Writing funny novels is one of the hardest things to do. Thankfully we have a bestselling author, Adam Rex here to talk to you about writing comedy and parodies. His new novel, Fat Vampire, takes a humorous look at the world of vampires. If you’d like to hear more from Adam, check out his live chat on the inkpop forum today at 5 p.m. EST.

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From end of the world apocalyptic comedies to vampire novels you have an uncanny ability to take serious subjects that are also quite popular and turn them into funny parodies. What does it take to write a parody?

I think I just enjoy approaching genre with an open mind.  I suppose I like to take the familiar trappings of a genre and try to apply them to less familiar situations and points of view.  And above all I’m always trying to write something I would want to read.

I guess I’ve never actually thought of my novels as parodies.  A parody, of course, is sort of a humorously exaggerated imitation of an already existing style or genre or story.  In my new novel, Fat Vampire, I didn’t write a funny imitation of Dracula or Twilight. I more wrote a vampire story with a different point of view from what you commonly see in other such novels.  I wanted to write about my own flaws in high school, and I thought a vampire story might be an interesting way to do that, because back in 2007 I didn’t realize that the literary landscape was about to become lousy with vampire stories.  But anyway, in Fat Vampire I wanted to explore a story in which the vampire is not the lean, sexy bad boy–rather, he’s a short Dungeons & Dragons playing social outlier who’s about to find his life getting much better and much worse at the same time.

How do you come up with ideas for your novels?

Ideas come from everywhere, but in the case of Fat Vampire I can actually trace its beginnings back to a single banner ad I saw online.  It was obviously for some vampire comic or novel or something and it was called My Dork Embrace.  I thought that was hilarious, because I assumed the title indicated that it was about a vampire that was a bit like, say, me as a freshman.  Later I realized I’d misread the ad–it was actually called My Dark Embrace–but then that left me free to write about the character I’d been imagining.

Are there requirements to writing a successful parody? Does it have to accurately represent the type of novel it is commenting upon—such as vampire novels or sf novels—or do you have the same type of freedom as any writer to create your own type of world dynamics?

You always have the freedom to create everything out of whole cloth, but I think a popular genre gives you something on which to hang your hat.  That’s what I like about it.  It’s like the genre gives you the alphabet, the common language, but like with any creative writing it’s up to you to arrange the words in a way that is uniquely your own.  You can always invent your own world dynamics, and claim that in your version vampires don’t drink blood and they control the weather and melt if you throw water on them, but then why are you even calling them vampires?  Just make up something else.  On the other hand, if you DO make them something more like traditional vampires, then you don’t have to spend half your book explaining the characteristics and rules of your fantastic creatures.  Everybody already knows about vampires.  You can just get on with your character-building and story.

What do you consider funny? How does that influence your own work?

Can there really be any other answer except, “I think funny things are funny?”  I have a lot of trouble personally deconstructing what exactly is funny, or why.  I’m a fan of the E.B. White quote that says, “Humor can be dissected as a frog can, but the thing dies in the process and the innards are discouraging to any but the pure scientific mind.”

Having said that, I can tell you the things I like include Chuck Jones Warner Bros. cartoons, Arrested Development, The Simpsons, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, The Life of Brian, Patton Oswalt, Tina Fey, the public radio show Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me, and Buster Keaton.  Maybe that’ll help you work out what I find funny and what I don’t because I can’t claim to use any comic rules or theory when I write.  But I’ve probably

absorbed a thousand subconscious ideas about what works and what doesn’t from sources like the ones I listed above, and I do draw upon all of these as I write.

Want to hear more? Stop by Adam’s live chat on the inkpop forums today at 5 p.m. EST. Read more about Fat Vampire.

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It’s a Supernatural Summer

Posted by inkpopbecki on May 28, 2010

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Why does summer always have to be about sunlight and beaches? Couldn’t a little bit have to do with the dark side of life? Well, HarperCollins heard your cried and responded with Supernatural Summer. Now you can have vampires, werewolves, witches and more all summer long. Check out supernaturalsummer.com.

  • Enter for a chance to win a free Apple iPad
  • Read about new supernatural books coming out this summer
  • Take quizzes
  • And find out about our Supernatural Summer Tour featuring New York Times bestselling authors Kim Harrison, Ellen Schreiber, Aprilynne Pike, Kimberly Derting, and Kelly Armstrong.

Go check out supernaturalsummer.com today.

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Inside the Mind of a Bestselling Author

Posted by inkpopbecki on May 19, 2010

What does it take to become a New York Times Bestseller? Kim Harrison can tell you. She hasn’t just done it once, but multiple times. Want to know more? Come talk to her personally at the inkpop.com live chat today at 5 p.m. EST.

Photo Credit: Blue Heron Photography

How did you get started writing?
It was almost by accident that I got started writing.  I hadn’t taken any but the most basic English classes in high school, focusing on technical fields instead.  But I was a voracious reader, and so when the words started to flow, they came in a flood.  I actually got bored one weekend, and started to write down a story I’d had in my head for about ten years.  The next day, I wrote a little longer, and the day after that, I wrote longer yet until I was writing about four hours a day.  I treated it like a part-time job, until I could finally quit my day-job and work at it full time.

How did you find your literary agent?
I credit my writer’s critique group with me finding my literary agent.  One of the members was a published writer, and she arranged a party at a writer’s conference and invited a few agents with me and a couple other writers in mind.  I had actually submitted to Richard Curtis before, but after having met me and seen my drive, (and having nothing to do on the plane ride home) he read my work , asked me to make a few changes, and took me on when I proved I could work under direction.
What is it like writing in two separate genres? Do you have to keep certain things in mind when writing for one versus the other?  Are there similarities between the two genres that make it easier to cross over?
I quite enjoy writing in two genres.  It helps keep my storytelling from going stale, and I get bored easily.  I’m sure that I’m unconsciously keeping a lot of things in mind as I shift from one to the other, but much of that comes from simply changing from an adult character to one still living at home.  That I’m still writing about the supernatural is a big plus in that it makes the transition easier, but it doesn’t allow me to stretch my writing muscles as much as I’d like.

What do you think it takes to become a New York Times bestseller?
The same thing it takes to get to Carnegie Hall.  Practice, practice, practice.  And an editor who wants to see you there as much as you want to see

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yourself there.  And a spouse to pick up the slack of daily living.  Oh, and someone to pay the bills until you start making enough money to keep yourself in paper and ink.  Okay, so it takes more than practice, but if you don’t write, you’ll never get there at all.

Kim’s new book, Early to Death, Early to Rise comes out May 25, 2010. Check it out here. Want more supernatural stuff? HarperCollins is bringing you vampires, witches, werewolves and more all summer long at SupernaturalSummer.com.

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