Saturday, April 30, 2011

IMM [50] + Update + Winners

Summer freedom! First year university has gone by amazingly fast, and it's been an absolutely awesome experience thus far, everything considered. The last couple of weeks have been insane, with final exams, trying to hang out with friends as much as possible before the break, adventuring around the city, etc.

This actually looks like a lot more than it actually is. I got home yesterday, and this is a culmination of everything that's arrived at my house since January and at my dorm since the last IMM post.

` Matched by Ally Condie (Thanks, Sherry!)
` Across the Universe by Beth Revis (autographed, see below; thanks Penguin & Beth! Check out my review & interview :)

And from Penguin (thanks!):
` Where She Went by Gayle Forman (review of If I Stay)
` So Much Closer by Susane Colasanti
` Wake Unto Me by Lisa Cach
` Haunting Violet by Alyxandra Harvey

Also received some signed bookmarks & magnets from the awesome Hannah Moskowitz - thanks! :)

In regards to the contests recently run on Lucid Conspiracy: Sarah won Mind Gap and Cheyanne won Accomplice. Both winners have been contacted. Thanks to everyone who entered, and better luck next time! :)

So what's been in your mailbox lately?

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Guest Post: Holly Schindler

Today, we have Holly Schindler, author of A Blue So Dark and Playing Hurt here with some words of wisdom for those of you on the verge of graduation! Be sure to pop by her lovely blog or check her out on Twitter :) And without further ado, here's Holly:


Graduation’s getting closer—and for some of you, that means you’re staring college square in the eye.

Which means you’re getting advice coming at you from all angles, about what college to attend and how to find a nice, safe major.

My take? There is no such thing as a safe major.

I got all kinds of grief for being a literature / creative writing student. Back when I was going to school, the “safe” major for anyone interested in writing was journalism. Since I graduated, though, newspapers have folded at an alarming rate. I’d bet that right now, anyone in college claiming to be a journalism major is met with the same, “What do you honestly think you’re going to do with THAT?” kind of questions I dealt with all through college.

And the other thing is, it’s hard to forge your way in any career. You’ll work every bit as hard on your second choice as you would on your first. You should be working, then, on whatever it is that makes you the absolute happiest—whether that’s journalism, creative writing, literature, art... Follow your heart, no matter how crazy it seems. Make sure you’re chasing your passions. Chasing your passions, in my estimation, really is the key to happiness…

Thanks so much for dropping by with advice, Holly! :)

Sunday, April 17, 2011

In My Mailbox [49]

I actually got this a few weeks ago - and it certainly wasn't actually in my mailbox. After basically being fed up with residence cafe food, M and I ended up heading out for dinner. We were kind of just wandering without a specific destination in mind though, and ended up at the used bookstore in the process.

I guess as a homage of sorts to childhood reads and nostalgic feelings, I ended up grabbing Gail Carson Levine's Ever - I'd been meaning to read it anyway, having loved the likes of Ella Enchanted, Fairest, The Two Princesses of Bamarre, etc. I actually just finished it tonight! Alas, I didn't enjoy it quite as much as I'd loved the others, but it's still a worthwhile read for the MG segment. Thinking of passing it on to my sister.

Your turn now - what was in your mailbox this week?

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Enclave Release Day & Trailer

So I think by now, we've all noticed that I'm a bit of a sucker for dystopian YA at the moment - more, more, more, I say! And today marks the release of another that adds to that number:

Enclave by Ann Aguirre released today, from Feiwel & Friends (of Macmillan)! Woohoo, happy release day! The synopsis sounds pretty awesome, check it out:

New York City has been decimated by war and plague, and most of civilization has migrated to underground enclaves, where life expectancy is no more than the early 20's. When Deuce turns 15, she takes on her role as a Huntress, and is paired with Fade, a teenage Hunter who lived Topside as a young boy. When she and Fade discover that the neighboring enclave has been decimated by the tunnel monsters—or Freaks—who seem to be growing more organized, the elders refuse to listen to warnings. And when Deuce and Fade are exiled from the enclave, the girl born in darkness must survive in daylight, in the ruins of a city whose population has dwindled to a few dangerous gangs. As the two are guided by Fade’s long-ago memories, they face dangers, and feelings, unlike any they’ve ever known.

And while you're here & have Enclave on the brain, watch the super cool trailer for it as well:

Isn't the trailer deliciously intriguing? And as far as book trailers go, this is definitely one of the better done ones. You can find more information here or here.

Cheers :)

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Interview: Marie Lu

I'm very excited about today's guest, for a number of reasons. I first discovered Marie Lu as an amazing artist on DeviantART - her illustrations and animations are very appealing. And then of course finding out that she was an aspiring writer made her that much more awesome. Admiration continued to grow upon realizing how skilled she was at writing. The fact that she writes dystopian stories (what I predominantly read nowadays) was simply icing on the cake!

In any case, it came as no surprise when Marie signed with agent extraordinaire Kristin Nelson. From there, things progressed amazingly - book deals, movie rights... Her debut, Legend, is due to be release November 29th of this year from Penguin. In any case, be sure to check out the Legend page on her site for a cool trailer and badass synopsis!

Presenting... Marie Lu:

Summarize LEGEND in twenty words while tossing in as many alliterations as you can.
Teen troublemaking criminal takes on teen detective prodigy in a
totalitarian United States. Gah--this one's hard. I fail!

Not a fail - that's pretty good! Words of wisdom - what do you do when the muse has gone on vacation?
I'll usually go off and re-read one of my favorite books, which
usually helps to stimulate my muse. Watership Down, Harry Potter, and The Giver, to name a few. Also, whenever I have writer's block, I tend to draw a lot. It helps me take a break from writing but still stay in the world of my manuscript. I also eat copious amounts of food, which are not really words of wisdom. You can always tell when I'm stuck on writing because I start gaining weight.

Food's always good, though ;) If you lived in LEGEND's world, would you be a citizen of the Republicor the Colonies? Which sector?
Since the Colonies aren't described until Legend 2, I'd have to say I would be a citizen of the Republic. Ruby sector sounds pretty good, because at least it's a wealthy sector and I could live lavishly, like June (my girl protagonist). Then again, if I lived in the slums with Day (my boy protagonist), I'd probably have more adventures.

How do you think the visual artist aspect of your creative psyche affects your writing, if at all?
I think drawing helps my writing tremendously. When I start a new story idea, I almost always sketch my characters before I do any actual writing. Visualizing them on paper helps me get a better idea of who they are.

That sounds awesome, having a visual representation of your characters! If you had to pick a dystopian world to live in (from any medium released thus far, be it movies, books, etc.), which would you choose?
Good question! Hmm....I'd probably pick the dystopian world in Ally Condie's MATCHED. I mean, it's still oppressive, but at least the streets are clean and you get daily hot meals. Aside from the whole "no free thinking" part, it's not too bad a dystopia to get stuck in, right? The Hunger Games' world is probably the one I'd least want to live in--knowing my luck, I'd definitely "win" the Reaping and have toenter the Games. And I'd be one of the first to die!

Mm, participating in the Hunger Games would be horrific indeed. Recently, LEGEND's film rights have been sold in a pre-empt - is there a dream cast that you envision playing your characters?
I'm so excited about CBS Films and Temple Hill working on LEGEND! For a few characters, I do have actors in mind who at least closely resemble those characters. For example, I wrote June's older brother Metias with Ben Barnes already in mind. Hailee Steinfeld looks really good for June--she has an international type of look, and she's athletic, sharp, and pretty. I haven't seen an actor that looks like Day, though, since he's a Mongolian/Russian mix. The closest would be
a young Leonardo DiCaprio (from his Romeo + Juliet days), with maybe some more Asian features thrown in. Of course, none of this is up to me. :)

Haha, it'll still be interesting to see how their choices compare though. Are there any interesting stories to share about your writing/publishing journey thus far? (ie in terms of The Call, finding out about movie rights, etc.)
Yes! The day of The Call (or series of calls), when my agent Kristin and I accepted Penguin's offer, was probably the happiest day of my life. It's probably too long to tell here in its entirety, but I did blog about that day: .
Also, when we publicly announced LEGEND's film rights being sold to CBS Films/Temple Hill, Wyck Godfrey (producer on the Twilight Saga) called me with a very kind, personal congratulations. He said, "I'm taking a break on the set of Breaking Dawn right now." He couldn't see me over the phone, but I literally fell backward into bed from shock. Isaac Klausner, another Twilight producer, also called me that day. I was so starstruck.

That must've been such a surreal moment. Draw a quick sketch of a scene from LEGEND?
Probably the closest to a LEGEND scene I've sketched so far:

Nicely done! Do you have any specific writing rituals/particular quirks?
I'm not a very quirky writer, but I do have to write in the morning. I'm such a morning person. If I don't get my daily writing done before noon, I probably won't have the motivation to do it at all.

Music or silence?
Music! Specifically, epic soundtracks. More specifically, soundtracks from the studio Two Steps From Hell.

Writing in public places or in serene solitude?
Serene solitude, like the good hermit I am.

Any literary crushes?
Dorian Gray. (This might be because Ben Barnes played him in the film.) Jem (The Clockwork Angel, by Cassandra Clare), Sydney Carton (A Tale of Two Cities), Peter Pan, and Alcuin (Kushiel's Dart, by Jacqueline Carey).

Worthy choices. Can you share any tidbits about future projects / current WIPs?
I can't share too much yet, but I do have another YA series in mind after the Legend trilogy is done. It might also involve vigilante boys, and may or may not involve magic. That was specific, wasn't it?

Haha, not particularly specific, but it sounds intriguing nonetheless! Thank you so much for dropping by, Marie!

Let's have a huge round of [virtual] applause for her, and be sure to drop by! :)

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (31)

The Predicteds - Christine Seifert
*September 1st, 2011 Sourcebooks Fire

So there doesn't seem to be a synopsis for this one out yet, but from what can be inferred from the title, tag line and cover, it seems like it's going to be an awesome book! Love the fragmented / pixelated effect.

The line "are you really who they say you are?" sounds like it may potentially hint at mystery or sci fi - either of which would be really cool. As for "what if your boyfriend was destined to commit murder" - hmm, if we're dealing with fate / destiny, then there's definitely potential for lots of philosophical exploration.

Definitely looking forward to getting more information on this one! What're you waiting on this Wednesday?

*WoW is hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine
*Apparently I can't count very well, because the last WoW is labelled as #30, but the one before that is #28... oops. shh :P

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

iPhone 5: 2 Screens?

It's no secret that rumours about Apple's iPhone 5 have been running rampant on the internet these days. Now, you may recall that in the past month, there was a huge discussion going on about a sliding component to the iPhone 5, which many people speculated hinted at a slide-out keyboard.
Now, that [mock-up] definitely looks a) bizarre b) impractical and c) not very Apple-esque. Honestly, with the built-in keyboard, having a chunky, physical slide-out keyboard makes zero sense. BUT -

Could the sliding component possibly indicate a second sliding screen? Think Nintendo DS-style - a secondary screen that could be used or hidden at one's leisure... It would contribute to multi-tasking, it would expand the amount of screen space usable, it would make a hell of a lot more sense as an explanation for the sliding mechanism than a physical keyboard...

What do you guys think? Is it possible that the iPhone 5 will carry a secondary slide-out screen?

Disclaimer: Obviously this is just speculation on my part; I'm not officially affiliated with Apple in any way.

Monday, April 4, 2011

The Hunger Games Casting (Leading Trio)

So the line-up for the leading trio of The Hunger Games film has been recently released:

Jennifer Lawrence (20) as Katniss Everdeen
Josh Hutcherson (18) as Peeta Mellark
Liam Hemsworth (21) as Gale

To be honest, based on purely physical features, these actors aren't exactly how I'd envisioned the characters as I was reading the series. In terms of merit / skill... I guess only time will tell.

It's a little ironic that Peeta is supposed to be blonde, but the actor is a brunette, while Gale is supposed to be darker haired, but has a relatively blonde guy portraying him. But altering physical appearances is no big deal for Hollywood these days.

How do you guys feel about the recent castings? Who were you hoping for?

Saturday, April 2, 2011

In My Mailbox [48]

Tuesday this week was an excellent day, filled with many positive aspects. And one of the great things that happened that day? Receiving Wither by Lauren DeStefano in the mail from Simon & Schuster! (Thanks, M!)

I've been looking forward to this book for months (and featured it in WoW while I was at it), so needless to say, it was very exciting. Despite having tons of stuff to do, I couldn't resist starting Wither almost immediately, and ended up staying up until the wee hours of morning to finish it. Well worth it though! A full review will be coming soon, so be sure to keep an eye out for that.

What was in your mailbox this week?

*In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren

Don't forget to enter to win a copy of Accomplice or Mind Gap!
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