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Posts Tagged ‘young adult romance’

From Books to Film and More: Inside the Mind of Alex Flinn

Posted by inkpopbecki on May 11, 2011

Ever wonder what it takes to go from book to film? Where were those writers before their books were movies? Join us for a live chat  with #1 New York Times bestselling author Alex Flinn to discuss this and other topics tonight at 5 p.m. EST in the inkpop forum events. In the meantime we caught up with Alex to ask her a few questions about her work.

How did you come up with the idea to adapt Beauty and the Beast into a modern day fairy tale?

I read a lot of fairy tales with my kids, and I became interested in the part of the story you don’t hear about as much – the Beast.  How did he become a beast?  Why was he all alone in the woods?  Where were his family?  I thought a lot about his loneliness and desperation, and that’s why I decided to write a book?

What was it like seeing your characters lifted from the page and brought to life on the screen? Were there things that the film did that you were unable to do in your book and conversely were there aspects of the book that were unable to translate to film?

Book and film are very different media.  I didn’t expect the movie to be exactly like my book.  What the movie does that a book can’t is, it provides a visual and also, music.  What the book did that the movie couldn’t was that it was longer and way more detailed.

Since Beastly you have created adapted another fairy tale into a modern retelling. What does it take to adeptly do these sort of reinterpretations? Are there limitations or things that you have to keep in mind when adapting these tales?

The hardest thing about adapting a fairy tale is deciding what the characters know about the existing fairy tale.  Has Kyle seen Beauty and the Beast on film, for example?  Also, do the characters believe in magic and, if not, do they come to believe in it based upon the circumstances of the story.  Since we are used to NOT believing in magic, this can be a hard transition.

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Your debut novel, Breathing Underwater, is now coming out in a new paperback edition. What have you learned since publishing Breathing Underwater in 2001?

What I’ve learned since publishing Breathing Underwater is more about being published than about writing.  The main thing I’ve learned is that not every reader is going to like every book.  Even with my own books, I have books that will appeal to different readers (The reader who likes A Kiss in Time is not necessarily going to be the same reader for Breathing Underwater).   When you first get published, you want everyone to love everything you write, but a book that appeals to all may not deeply touch many.  Now, I write each book for the reader who will like it.

Want to hear more? Join us tonight at 5 p.m. EST in the inkpop forum events for a live chat with author Alex Flinn

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Creating a Paranormal World: inkTips from Author Cynthia Hand

Posted by inkpopbecki on April 6, 2011

Cynthia Hand knows a thing or two about writing compelling paranormal worlds. As a debut author, she was able to intrigue a HaperCollins editor so much, she sold the paranormal trilogy Unearthly on her first round of submissions. That is practically unheard of in the publishing world. How did she do it? Ask her yourself. Join us for a live chat with Cynthia Hand today at 5 p.m. EST in the inkpop Event Forums.

In the meantime check out these helpful tips from Cynthia on how to create an engaging paranormal world.

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1.Do the research. For most paranormal worlds there is some sort of mythology and history out there. Most of the big best-selling books like The Hunger Games, Harry Potter, etc, that have fantastic, creative and original worlds also have a very strong basis in real history and myth. Don’t be intimidated by it—dive in! Become an expert in the subject, really let yourself get into it and try to look at your topic from all angels—whoops, I mean angles. J The more you know, the fuller and richer the world you create will become. Creating a believable paranormal world is about the details, and doing the research will provide you with all kinds of beautiful details. Make it your business to collect details.

2. Follow your instincts. While you’re doing all this amazing research, let your gut lead you. If there’s a nagging little voice at the back of your brain that says that a piece of information you stumble over could be important, or that maybe you should look into this particular story or subject a little more, listen to it. Be curious. Go after what interests you, not just in a little way, but in a big way, because if something is super interesting to you, chances are that it will be interesting to everybody else, too.

3. Ditch the research. At some point you will have to push out on your own. Don’t let the information you’ve gathered confine you—break away. Take what you want from the research and abandon the rest. What will make your paranormal world successful is ultimately not about the fact-gathering you’ve done, but about your own unique vision. That’s why there can be ten great vampire novels out there or why so many writers can get away with retelling the story of Cinderella; even if the story’s been told before or we’re familiar with the subject, you, as a writer, can make it new. It’s all about your creativity, your twist, your fresh take.

4. Don’t forget the real world. Maybe the biggest, most important tip I can give you in creating a paranormal world is to put as much focus (if not more) on the real world of your story as you put on the supernatural world. When we are immersed in a real world that feels true and visceral and er, real, then it is easier for us to believe the aspects of your story that defy belief. A good story is not just about the flashy special effects—it’s about the people, and you want your people to live in as real an environment as possible. Practice restraint with your crazy supernatural stuff and think instead about what your main character eats for breakfast. (My main character, Clara, is a fan of Cheerios with banana slices.) Again, this is about the details.

5. And finally, have fun with it. Let yourself play! This is the fun part of being a writer!

Want to read more about the Unearthyly series? Check out Unearthly at HarperTeen.

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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.

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