Tuesday, 12 July 2011

The Risk of Failure

Although my blog claims to be about reading and writing YA, I do tend to stick to the reading side of things. Talking about writing still feels weird to me.


I'm going to be unplugging for a bit though and I thought I'd share why.


Last week Natalie Whipple posted about her two book sale. I'm so happy for her. I've been following her blog for a while and I know it's been a long road for her.


Her sale was also a kick in the pants for me. 


See I discovered Natalie's blog at the end of 2008, when we were both finalists in Nathan Bransford's First paragraph Competition. Now Natalie has an agent and a two book deal and I. . .um. . .don't.


I could stamp my foot and whine, but like I said I've been reading Natalie's blog and I know that book contract didn't just land on her doorstep delivered by the good luck fairy. She worked really, really hard and she kept working.


Now in my defense I haven't been sitting around doing nothing. Since 2008 I wrote the book to go with that first paragraph. I edited the hell out of it four times! I found my wonderful critique group. Oh and I also had a baby and moved countries.


But since last August, when after five full rejections I decided to put novel one aside and work on something new, I've been faffing about. No other way to put it. 


I think I may be scared of finishing a first draft. Now I know that's just the beginning. Now I know that finishing and editing a novel is not a guarantee of an agent and a book deal.


But I really need to get over that and get down to work! As one of my favourite authors, Philip Pullman, says;


If you want something you can have it, but only if you want everything that goes with it, including all the hard work and the despair, and only if you're willing to risk failure




So I am unplugging, cutting back on television, and reading (yes even reading. I really do want this), so I can buckle down and try and get this first draft done by August 1st.


Wish me luck.


I'll probably check blogs on Sundays, I can't go completely cold turkey, but I won't be posting (my procrastination method of choice) for a while. 

Friday, 8 July 2011

Do You Re-read?

Thanks so to everyone who answered my how do you read questions. I loved reading the answers. 


In case you're interested most people read one book at a time, in bed at night is the preferred reading place, YA was the genre of choice :) and audio books were nowhere near as popular as I thought they'd be.




I really miss talking books (much as I loved reading/writing reviews it's not quite the same) so until I find a book group I thought I might ask you guys ~ till you get bored anyway.






So today's questions are all about re-reading, which I've been doing a fair bit of recently.


Do you re-read books?


I re-read about ten books a year.


Which books to you re-read?


My most re-read books include Saving Francesca, Perfect You, His Dark Materials (always re-read this at Christmas) The Pursuit of Love, I capture the Castle, Pride and Prejudice (currently re-reading after finally watching the Keria Knightly version ~ it's so good I shouldn't have been prejudice against it!), What my Mother Doesn't Know, The Truth About Forever, Hideous Kinky, Wyrd Sisters, 


My re-reading habit has grown since I started reading YA. Also I tend to re-read in the winter time. maybe I need the comfort when the weather is bad and the nights are dark.


What makes you re-read a book?


For me it's the characters. I want to revisit them. Looking at my list the books tend to be the slower paced books, not the ones where I'm reading fast to finish.

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

If I judged books by their covers I'd pick you!

In 2011 I have added 66 books to my TBR lits on Goodreads. The actual list total is 263. As I average about 5 books a month and new books are being added all the time, it's clear I will never read all these 
books.

So how's a girl to choose?

Well obviously I'll read books by favourite authors, books that come recommended by people I trust, and  books I'm waiting for in series, but if I was choosing based purely on the cover I'd be reading these.


I actually find this quite freaky, but also utterly intriguing.


Add caption
The first time I saw this cover I was completely captivated. I didn't even care what it was about, I just wanted it.


Okay, I have heard many extremely wonderful things about this from Australian bloggers, plus I love A Little Wanting Song. But I do find this cover so gorgeous, love the typeface, love the way the girl and boy are sitting, LOVE the bubbles of light.


Just wow! I think this may be my favourite cover this year. Hope the story matches it.




 I don't normally like faces on book covers, but this just works. I like angle of the shot. I also love the way they've done the o in love.




 I am a sucker for anything heart shaped, so I love the apple. Plus with the title and the girl it all looks so mysterious and tragic.

Any of these appeal to you? And what would you be reading based on cover love?

Saturday, 2 July 2011

What, When, Where and How do you Read?

I have always been the reader among my friends and family, because they believe I am a voracious reader I have always held that image of myself too. Visiting the blogs participating in Nomes 2001 Faves Lists though, it became clear that I am not voracious compared to you guys!

Which got me thinking ~ what, where, when and how do other people read?

 So I thought I'd ask.

What do you read?
Do you read mainly YA,? A mixture of adult, YA, MG?





The bulk of my reading is now YA, probably a 4:1 ratio with adult books.

Where do you read?
Do you take your book out and about with you? Or always read at home? 






I tend you read at home, I'll use my iphone and read blogs if I'm at a loose end when I'm out.




When do you read?
Do you schedule it in? Do you read all day? At night? In the morning? Do you sandwich in your reading or do you prefer to have a good chuck of time?





I tend to read at night. Although if a book is brilliant I'll chuck the chores and read through my son's nap time. I like to know I've got a big chuck of time (or at least half an hour) to sink into the book.

How? 
Do you read more than one book at a time? Do you use audio books?





I can only seem to do one book at a time. I am becoming more and more of a fan of audio books, although the narrator has to be right.

I'm really curious so I hope you'll share : D

All photos from Weheartit

Winner of Imaginary Girls by Nova Ren Suma

The Winner is




Skye of In the Good Books


Thanks to everyone who entered. Hope you manage to get your own copy of the book because it is amazing.


Also I just hit 300 followers, thanks so much you guys. So I think we need a thank you contest, I'll just have to think about what it will be.

Friday, 1 July 2011

Things I Loved In June

1) The Killing or Forbrydelsen, as it is called in Denmark. I could not have loved this show more ~ it is all kinds of wonderful. I used to do a happy dance when the next dvd arrived from LoveFilm.




If you haven't heard of it, it is a danish crime show. The Danish version follows detective Sarah Lund, as she investigates the murder of Nanna Birk Larsan. Sarah is now one of my all time favourite TV characters. She's absolutely obsessive about her case, in a kind of lone gunman of the wild west way. 


She will not stop till she gets her man (or woman!)


 Plus I love her jumpers. 




I need to borrow a Granny to make me one



2) How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff ~ huh what's that you say? You read my 2011 Faves list, you know I love this book to distraction? I should just write a review already? I am trying, but it's so hard to write it. I may have to resort to a list of love.


3) Wimbledon ~ yay for tennis and strawberries at SW1. And oh my gosh there might be a Brit in the final. Finger tightly crossed.


4) New Shoes ~ I usually spend my summer in flip flops, but I couldn't resist these. They're from CLARKS! For those of you unfamiliar with the store, it's where generations of british school children have been dragged for foot measuring and new shoes. Apparently while I've been overseas they have stepped up their game and moved beyond shiny patent shoes with buckles.






5) Sour Wine Gums ~ I love winegums and new sour winegums rule.